Memorial Day weekend moviegoing is off to a good start, if the highly anticipated "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is any indication.
The film, which tells the origin story of the character Han Solo, took in $14.1 million in Thursday previews.
ComScore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian is projecting $130 million to $140 million for the long weekend.
"'Solo' is a great movie to kick off this next part of the summer," he told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Friday.
If his forecast becomes reality, it would be the first $100 million opener for the holiday weekend since "X-Men: Days of Future Past" was released in 2014, he added.
"Memorial weekend needs to get its groove back because it's a very important weekend," he said. "This is where the month of May passes the baton to June and keeps that momentum going."
Last year, the holiday weekend only brought in $181 million for the entire weekend, compared with other years where it saw sales of more than $300 million, Dergarabedian said. The lackluster response continued through the season, with the summer being the lowest grossing one since 2006.
"The summer season is vitally important and Memorial weekend is a big barometer of how the overall summer will perform," he said.
"If this Memorial weekend is any indicator, we're going to have a really strong summer and there's a lot of big movies on the way," he said.
Those films include new installments in the "Jurassic World" and "Mission: Impossible" franchises. Pixar's "Incredibles 2," Marvel's "Ant-Man And The Wasp," Warner Bros.' "Ocean's 8" and Sony Pictures' "Hotel Transylvania 3" are also set to be released this summer.