Sci-Fi Epic Can’t Save Box Office From Worst Memorial Day Weekend In Decades

By Brian Myers | Published

box office

The latest installment of the classic dystopian franchise was thought to be one that would elevate ticket sales at the box office during the Memorial Day weekend. But Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga has failed to deliver. The holiday weekend is typically great for film debuts, but the 2024 holiday has proven to be the worst one for box office returns in decades.

A Disappointing Holiday Weekend

The latest Mad Max film, though number one at the box office, narrowly surpassed the box office receipts of The Garfield Movie.

Furiosa managed to scrape $32 million in ticket sales over the four-day weekend while the animated film was close behind with $31.1 million.

Furiosa was predicted to sell between $40 and $45 million in tickets at the box office in its debut weekend.

With a budget that exceeded $168 million, the Memorial Day weekend’s lackluster returns are a big blow to the studio who will have a long hill to climb against other releases in the coming weeks.

The Garfield Movie


The Garfield Movie might end up being somewhat of a success at the box office as schools dismiss for the summer. Already earning back more than half of its $60 million budget, it’s likely to get additional traction as May turns into June.

Aside from the pandemic year 2020, this Memorial Day weekend has collectively been the worst in almost 30 years. This news might make studios nervous as the big-budget films set for summer releases might not be the successes they were hoping for at the box office.

What Happened?

The reasons that box office receipts are down over this holiday weekend are likely multi-faceted.

The growing number of quality films that are being released directly to streaming services and the sheer volume of options that audiences control with the touch of a button certainly have an impact. But there’s also something to be said about the quality of the films that are being released to the theaters themselves.

Weak Movies?

Looking back to last year, The Little Mermaid remake dominated the box office over Memorial Day weekend, raking in an impressive $118 million over a four day stretch last May in what was one of Disney’s best theatrical debuts in history.

The options available this holiday weekend pale in comparison to years past, particularly when the two front runners, The Garfield Movie and Furiosa, are representing two efforts doomed to fail; one, a repackaged animated character that most audiences under 40 don’t care about or have never heard of, and two, being the latest installment of a sci-fi adventure that might be well past its period of relevance.

The Downward Trend Continues

chris hemsworth furiosa

The miserable box office numbers over Memorial Day weekend are not out of the ordinary for 2024 as a whole. The total box office returns for the year to date are 22 percent less than they were this time last year and a whopping 41 percent where they were at this time in 2019.

With the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic year as an exception, theaters are seeing a downward trend in box office sales that are paving way for 2024 to be the absolute worst in decades.

Sources: Variety