‘Furiosa’ Is a Box Office Dud, Adding to Hollywood Woes

Hollywood expected “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” to scorch the box office over the holiday weekend. Instead, the big-budget Warner Bros. prequel iced it over.

“Furiosa,” which cost $168 million to make, not including tens of millions of dollars in marketing costs, collected an estimated $25.6 million in the United States and Canada from Thursday night to Sunday. Box office analysts expected the film to take in about $5.4 million on Monday, for a holiday-weekend total of $31 million.

That would be the worst Memorial Day weekend result in 43 years after adjusting for inflation — ever since “Bustin’ Loose,” a comedic drama starring Richard Pryor, collected $24 million in 1981. (Box office records exclude 2020, when most theaters were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.)

The franchise’s previous chapter, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” took in $45.4 million in 2015, or roughly $61 million in today’s dollars — and that was without the benefit of a holiday weekend.

Hollywood had high expectations for “Furiosa,” which Warner Bros. premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; the movie received exceptional reviews. On Sunday, however, it was unclear whether “Furiosa” would manage even first place at the box office. Analysts said the poorly reviewed “Garfield” (Sony), which cost $60 million to make, could inch ahead. It could also be a tie.

Sony declared victory, saying it expected “Garfield,” produced and financed by Alcon Entertainment, to be No. 1, with $31.8 million in ticket sales. “With summer holidays beginning this week, the film is well-positioned for a long theatrical run,” Sony said, adding that it had successfully “relaunched” the lasagna-loving character as a movie franchise.

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