EntertainmentFamed Mad Max prequel 'Furiosa' stumbles in shocking box office flop

Famed Mad Max prequel 'Furiosa' stumbles in shocking box office flop

"Furiosa: Saga Mad Max"
"Furiosa: Saga Mad Max"
Images source: © Press materials

3:44 PM EDT, May 27, 2024

Something went wrong, but no one knows precisely what. It's all speculation. "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" has been getting rave reviews, features a Hollywood and a Netflix star, and is a high-quality, proven commodity. Yet, it failed at the box office.

Things are not going well in Hollywood. The summer season, crucial for film studios, is shaping up terribly. First, "Stuntman" opened significantly below expectations ($27 million in the USA), then "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" had a strong showing ($58 million), but the next high-budget release "Fantastic Beasts" again disappointed ($33 million). Last weekend, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" premiered. It seemed to be a surefire hit.

"Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" is a direct prequel to the 2015 production "Mad Max: Fury Road" (you can even see some of its fragments during the end credits), a film that became a cultural sensation. The futuristic production not only won over the hearts of viewers but also garnered acclaim from critics and members of the Academy. The film received ten Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director).

According to most critics, for one-third of its runtime, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" is a magnificent film. During this time, we see the story of the young heroine (Alyla Browne), who is taken from a hidden oasis of abundance (specifically, the Green Place of Many Mothers). Her captors are members of the Biker Horde, led by Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). The extended sequence in which Furiosa's mother tries to rescue her daughter from the captors' clutches can be considered one of cinematic history's most spectacular and suspenseful sequences. Ultimately, Furiosa ends up at the Citadel, ruled by the familiar character from "Fury Road," Immortan Joe.

Box Office Failure

Later on, Anya Taylor-Joy, a Netflix star ("The Queen's Gambit"), takes over the role of Furiosa, and the film slowly loses momentum with dragging action sequences. But does that explain the movie's failure at the box office? No, because it's still a good film. Yet, in its first three days of release, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" earned only $25.6 million in the U.S. The previous part pulled in $45.4 million.

During the four-day weekend, George Miller's film will make about $32 million. This is the weakest performance for a Memorial Day weekend box office leader in 29 years! What's more, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" might not even be the box office leader, as the poorly reviewed animation "Garfield" might edge it out ($24.8 million from Friday to Sunday). "Furiosa" cost $168 million, while "Garfield" cost only $60 million.

American media reported that George Miller's post-apocalyptic work's failure might have been influenced by the release of "Atlas," which debuted on a streaming platform last Friday. The sci-fi production starring Jennifer Lopez is mediocre compared to "Furiosa," but it's possible that Netflix films now have such power that they can destroy a cinematic release. We'll know the viewership numbers for "Atlas" by Wednesday.

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