Mad Max Furiosa's box office collections broke a nearly 30-year-old record for the worst opening

Mad Max: Furiosa sets a new low with its opening weekend performance (Image via X @MadMaxMovie)
Mad Max: Furiosa sets a new low with its opening weekend performance (Image via X @MadMaxMovie)

The highly awaited movie Mad Max Furiosa came to theaters full of hope but unfortunately made history for having the worst opening weekend in nearly 30 years. It only made about $32m (£25m) at the U.S. box office during its first weekend. Even after including Memorial Day, the total barely increased to $33 million.

Furiosa's takings make it the lowest box office figure for the holiday weekend since Casper debuted at $22.5m in 1995 (29 years ago). It only narrowly beat its closest competitor, The Garfield Movie, which made $31.1m. The figures for the 2024 weekend were drastically down from 2023, when The Little Mermaid brought in $118m.

The movie didn’t do much better across the world, with its overall earnings only reaching between $64 and $66 million. This was shockingly low for a movie that is part of the extremely popular Mad Max: Fury Road series.

The poor performance was unexpected, especially because the movie had been getting a lot of hype and good reviews from critics. Furiosa features great acting and a complex and detailed setting that reminds us of what made Fury Road so special. Despite these strengths, the movie didn’t manage to attract enough viewers.

Mad Max Furiosa: Troubles with movie marketing and public interest


Even though Furiosa is connected to the very successful Mad Max: Fury Road, it looks like the movie had difficulty getting people interested. Being a prequel, it had the tough job of living up to the excitement and love people had for the movie that came before it.

Also, the way the movie was promoted might not have been strong enough to pull in viewers, or maybe it didn’t do a good job of showing what was special and exciting about this new film. This communication gap could have caused fewer people to know or get excited about the movie, which played a big part in the low box office earnings.

Competition and market timing

In its opening Memorial Day weekend of 2024, Mad Max Furiosa grossed approximately $25.5 million over three days and $32.3 million across the full four-day period.

In comparison, Mad Max: Fury Road earned approximately $45.4 million in its opening weekend in 2015 and then $31.2 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. This shows that Furiosa had the lowest opening for a Memorial Day weekend-leading film since 1995.

The success of a movie at the box office is greatly affected by what other movies are showing at the same time and when it's released. Furiosa came out at the same time as the family-friendly movie Garfield, during a weekend when many families go to see movies together. This probably led more viewers to choose the lighter, more family-oriented option over Furiosa, impacting its ticket sales.

Furthermore, the way people decide to see movies has changed. Nowadays, viewers are pickier about what makes them go to the theater, as films come to streaming platforms sooner. This may have led to fewer people seeing Mad Max Furiosa in theaters.

Mad Max Furiosa: The broader context of Hollywood struggles


The struggles of Mad Max Furiosa might be part of a bigger trend that's touching the whole movie business. Many movies that came out after the pandemic aren't doing as well as people thought they would. This shows that it might not just be a problem with this one movie.

Things like money concerns, new ways people like to watch movies, and the constant challenge from movie streaming websites all change how much money movies make at the theaters. In this situation, even a movie that gets good reviews and seems like it should do well can make less money than hoped.

Even though it didn't do well at first, Mad Max Furiosa isn’t done yet. To earn back more money than it took to produce and promote, it needs to bring in over $420 million from all over the world. With its slow start in theaters, this could look difficult.

Mad Max Furiosa might get more popular because people say good things about it, and there aren’t many big movies to watch instead.

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