Solo: A Star Wars Story earns $14.1 million in Thursday previews

Solo: A Star Wars Story has flown into the box office with $14.1 million in Thursday previews. This is a record for Memorial Day weekend previews, beating out Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's $13.2 million. That film currently holds the title for the biggest four-day Memorial Day weekend gross with $139.8 million, a number which Solo is hoping to beat. (via Box Office Mojo)

Solo is projected to open with somewhere between $130 and $136 million over the four-day weekend, although upper range estimates suggest it could cap out around $150 million. Although this is nothing to scoff at, it will likely be the smallest opening for a Star Wars movie thus far. The movie faces some tough competition from Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War. The movie could also be hurt by the fact that it is hitting theaters just five months after the release of The Last Jedi; comparably, the other Star Wars standalone film, Rogue One, hit theaters a full year after The Force Awakens.

The Memorial Day weekend box office has also been rough in recent years, with 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past the last to clock a more than $100 million launch in the frame. "Memorial Day weekend needs to get its groove back after a multi-year downturn that ranked last year's frame at No. 18 all-time for the holiday and unfortunately marked the third straight year the industry did not deliver a $100 million four-day opener," said ComScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. (via Variety) "Solo looks to restore this holiday frame to its former glory and its place as one of the most important weekends of the year and the all-important summer movie season."

Solo: A Star Wars Story features Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the gunslinger Harrison Ford played in the original Star Wars trilogy, telling the story of how he came to be the famed thief and hustler. The film also features Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as the mysterious Qi'Ra, and Woody Harrelson as Han's criminal mentor Tobias Beckett. Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, and Joonas Suotamo also star in the film, which is the only major new release this weekend.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is directed by Ron Howard, who took over for the original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, after they were let go with just a few weeks left of filming due to creative differences with Lucasfilm. (The pair will instead get an executive producer credit.) The movie is based off a script from Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. The film is in theaters now.