Disney shares dip after franchise-low debut for 'Star Wars' prequel

  • Shares of Disney fell after its latest "Star Wars" movie sputtered at the box office over Memorial Day weekend.
  • The Disney-produced "Solo: A Star Wars Story" delivered a franchise-low $83.3 million in North American ticket sales over three days.
  • "Rogue One" had been Disney's lowest-grossing film in the franchise, bringing in $155 million for its 2016 debut.
Star Wars Solo film.
Source: Disney
Star Wars Solo film.

Shares of Disney fell Tuesday after its latest "Star Wars" movie failed to bring the crowds and revenue analysts had expected for Memorial Day weekend.

The stock fell about 2.4 percent and is now down 8 percent for 2018.

The Disney-produced "Solo: A Star Wars Story" delivered a franchise-low $83.3 million in North American ticket sales over the three-day weekend. Over four days, the movie brought in $101 million. This was about $40 million light of revenue expectations, according to B. Riley FBR analyst Barton Crockett.

"All else equal, this suggests the Star Wars movie is pacing close to breakeven, a 2% headwind for our Disney estimates," Crockett said in a note to clients Tuesday.

Last week, revenue forecasts had been as high as $150 million for the four-day debut of "Solo."

The movie marked the lowest opening for a Disney-produced film in the Star Wars franchise. Until then, "Rogue One" had been Disney's lowest-grossing Star Wars film, bringing in $155 million in its 2016 debut. "The Last Jedi" brought in $220 million, while "The Force Awakens" brought in $248 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The company paid $4 billion in 2012 to buy the franchise from Star Wars creator LucasFilm.

The recent box office weakness could be mitigated by an advertising lift from the upcoming seven-game NBA conference finals and strength in Disney's Marvel movies franchise, FBR's Crockett said.