It has been an embarrassing last few days for Forbes critics, Scott Mendelson. The man who has spent days defending the box office bomb Solo: A Star Wars Story and now fully jumped the shark with his latest piece: Are Movies About White Men Box Office Poison?
Let’s rewind for a second, Mendelson started his weekend-long denial of Disney’s failures by claiming that Star Wars didn’t need China to be a success after bombing in that market. He writes
Walt Disney clearly doesn’t need China to push Star Wars into mega-hit status. Besides, it’s not like there aren’t other Disney flicks (Infinity War, Coco, etc.) that can make up the difference. Again, Disney, Lucasfilm and the Star Wars brand will presumably survive (and thrive) without China.
It gets worse…
Then he tries to defend the low Thursday night total that the film drew with this piece.
If Solo plays like a “Hey, I want to see it this weekend, but I don’t need to race out on Thursday night” title, then it’ll do fine and snag around $113.8 million over the Fri-Sun weekend and around $138m for the holiday bow. That would be the second-best (sans inflation) Memorial Day debut behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End which snagged a $153m Fri-Mon debut (counting $13m in Thurs previews) back in 2007.
Denial…it’s more than a river
Once denial was no longer an option, it was time to spin the negative press to blame anything non-disney related to this failure. First, he tries to blame the fact that there are too many options in theaters these days. He writes
Audiences weren’t burned out on Star Wars. Folks just didn’t want to see this Star Wars Story in a world where A) Star Wars is no longer the only game in town and B) folks have plenty of non-theatrical options. The fault lies not in the brand or in oversaturation, but with the movie itself. Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed because of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Right, because the real reason why the film bombed was that there were too many things to do nowadays and there wasn’t enough interest in the second most popular Star Wars character next to Luke Skywalker…that’s it.
Scott could have just taken his L like a man and admit he was wrong but today comes his most embarrassing take thus far…blaming white men for the failures of not only this film but all films out today, he writes.
It is ironic that the first failure of the new Star Wars era is the one with a white guy in the starring role. Moreover, Solo: A Star Wars Story tanked harder overseas than in North America. We are comedically past the point where anyone should still believe the conventional wisdom about minority-led movies or female-led movies struggling overseas. While I’m not going to argue that overseas audiences are drawn to big movies starring women and minorities more than standard white guy “he’s the special” hero’s journeys, they sure don’t seem to find them repelling either.
We should have seen this coming… a progressive media who ignored and wrote off criticism of Star Wars’ feminist narrative is now blaming white guys for the failures of a Han Solo movie. Ignore the fact that movies like Deadpool 2, Infinity Wars, and A Quiet Place are all box office hits with white male leads…the narrative must be pushed at all costs.
As I said in my last piece on Star Wars, the four-step business model of progressives is to lose money not make money, the louder the voice of people like Scott Mendelson, the worst things will get for the industry.