Furiosa: Poor opening weekend box office sales flummoxes cinema fans

Film fans have been left bewildered by the poor opening weekend for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, in what was one of the worst weekends for cinema in decades.

First reactions to the long-waited prequel to the Mad Max series had hailed the movie as “powerhouse action filmmaking at its absolute best” – yet the blockbuster only marginally overtook children’s animation, The Garfield Movie.

Directed by George Miller, the film stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa the younger version of Charlize Theron’s Mad Max: Fury Road movie character, andThor star Hemsworth as the lead villain, Dementus.

However, Furiosa, which cost $168m (£143m) to make, underperformed in its box office debut, barely recouping $25.6m (£20m) between Friday and Sunday and an additional $31m (£24m) on Monday in the US. It marks the country’s worst Memorial Day cinema performance for decades. The movie collected an additional $33.3m (£26m) from 75 territories internationally, with a total of $58m (£45m) worldwide according to Variety.

Fans were left confused by the performance as they said, “The simple explanation for Furiosa’s box office is that only cool people are into movies featuring Octoboss, Rictus Erectus, and the Organic Mechanic [characters in the Mad Max saga]. There aren’t that many cool people.”

Others were enraged the movie did not receive the same reception as Dune: Part Two.

“The fact that #furiosa isn’t going to get anywhere near the same amount of love at the box office as Dune: Part Two is devastating because holy F*** what a picture…”

But despite its underwhelming performance, fans reasoned that the movie should not be judged by box-office performance alone. Despite being considered one of the best action films of the century and a cult classic, Mad Max: Fury Road also didn’t make waves during its box office debut.

Film Review-Furiosa (© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Film Review-Furiosa (© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

”It’s entirely possible for a movie to have a smaller audience than its budget would reflect AND not be a bad movie AND the audience may not be ‘at fault’,” said one person. “It’s an R-rated, violent, off-beat movie. I don’t actually know if anybody’s ‘at fault’ here.”

Despite its loyal supporters, there were those who blamed the film industry as a whole, while others pointed the finger at the movie itself.

“Seeing how Furiosa is flopping amid a very dire year of box office disappointments, I can’t help but think that movies have gone the way of the music industry: they’ve devalued their artform to the point where it’s unsustainable,” said one viewer on X/Twitter.

While another added, “I don’t think anecdotal bad theatre experiences are to blame for box office bombs - it’s all about the films themselves. If people REALLY want to see something they don’t give a sh*t about all that (dune, gxk, barbie, oppy, mario, etc). The right movie is worth it. Fall Guy/Furiosa just weren’t.”

The movie features a female lead, the titular Furiosa played by Anya Taylor-Joy while Max Rockatansky (played by Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road and Mel Gibson in the original trilogy) does not appear at all.

Others have urged cinemagoers to judge the movie for itself before allowiing box office numbers to put them off.

“Don’t let all this bulls*** box office talk keep you away from Furiosa – It’s a true humdinger of a summer movie,” said one fan “Brilliant, dramatic, funny action/ characters/sets/set-pieces brought to glorious, ingenious, insane life by some of the very best technicians in the film business.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is out in cinemas now.