AceShowbiz - Ron Howard has blamed his "Star Wars" spin-off's box office failure on a concerted campaign by online trolls.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story", which uncovers Han Solo's origins, only made $393m (£310m) at the box office following its release last year (2018) - less than half the $1 billion the previous non-trilogy instalment, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" earned in 2016.
Speaking on the "Happy Sad Confused" movies podcast, Ron said he felt that his film might have been too "nostalgic" and have catered too much to existing fans, but that he had been told by technology experts trolling on review websites harmed the box office takings.
"It was notable prior to the release of the movie in several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes," he explained. "There was an inordinate push down on the 'want to see' and on the fan voting. Some friends from Silicon Valley explained to me how it works. Under that circumstance, I did not take it personally at all but I felt badly."
Many review aggregator sites also allow fans to rate films or gauge the buzz around upcoming movies as users indicated which flicks they want to see. Trolls have attempted to lower scores for films including the female-fronted "Ghostbusters" reboot, "Black Panther" and, earlier this year, "Captain Marvel", to protest against their inclusive casting and themes.
After the campaign against "Captain Marvel" came to light, Rotten Tomatoes chiefs announced they were adjusting their site's rules after a torrent of negative comments in the run up to the film's release.