Furiosa was able to hold onto first place over the four-day holiday weekend, but it was a very tight race.

UPDATE: Comscore has just released the official box office results for the 4-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, and despite some box office pundits predicting that The Garfield Movie would top Furiosa, in the end the George Miller epic was able to hold on to a narrow lead. Comscore has Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga earning $32 million compared to Garfield‘s $31.1 million. However, it should be noted that The Garfield Movie only cost about a third of what Furiosa did, so it’s unlikely distributor Sony Pictures will chalk up a loss on this one.

Furiosa will depend heavily on foreign receipts if it’s going to break even, with the movie grossing $33 million internationally. Mad Max: Fury Road made a total of $379 million worldwide, a number that the prequel will likely have a hard time equalling unless word of mouth and repeat business are strong. The silver lining for Furiosa is that there’s not much competition next weekend, so it could, theoretically, hold onto the top spot with a modest decline.

ORIGINAL POST: As I mentioned in my early box office report yesterday, the Memorial Day holiday box office is a disaster. This weekend’s number 1 movie, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, will be the lowest-grossing new movie to top the charts on this holiday weekend since Return of the Jedi back in 1983 (not adjusted for inflation). Indeed, the opening for George Miller’s epic Mad Max prequel has drastically fallen short of industry expectations (including our own), with no one thinking this could possibly open to less than $40 million. In the end, Furiosa is looking at only $25.55 million for the weekend, which is even lower than what The Fall Guy opened with earlier this month.

The good news—for now—is that Furiosa at least beat The Garfield Movie, with the animated flick grossing $24.775. However, the margin is so slim that many think the Chris Pratt-voiced movie will top the four-day box office due to holiday matinees. 

So what happened? 

Both Furiosa and Garfield managed good (but not great) B+ CinemaScore ratings, which prove their intended audiences mostly like (but don’t love) the movies. Furiosa seems to be provoking very mixed reactions, with some hating it and others absolutely loving it. We’re in the “loving it” camp here. Still, as our own Tyler Nichols wrote in his think piece yesterday, the studio likely made a mistake marketing the film around Anya Taylor-Joy, as it had people thinking it was a star vehicle for her. She’s really just part of an ensemble (she only shows up an hour into the movie). In fact, some box office prognosticators think the girl power vibe of the marketing might have hurt the film, which is a shame as the movie defies easy categorization. Also, Anya Taylor-Joy is wonderful in it. Hopefully, word-of-mouth will pick up in the coming weeks, as we need movies like this to be hits.

As for The Garfield Movie, while it only opened with a fraction of what The Super Mario Bros Movie did, it will make a solid amount of coin for Sony, who kept the budget in the $60 million-ish range. The furry orange feline’s only real competition until Despicable Me 4 opens in July is John Krasinski’s IF, which showed strong staying power (thanks to that A CinemaScore) only falling 52%. With a $58 million gross so far, it will certainly make more money domestically than most of this month’s other films, including The Fall Guy and Furiosa

the fall guy vs kingdom of the planet of the apes

So far, the summer’s only bonafide hit has been Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which still managed over $13 million this weekend despite losing all its premium format screens to Furiosa. With a domestic total of $122.8 million, it should finish with a solid (but not exceptional) $160 million. The Fall Guy, which has already hit VOD, lost over 800 screens this weekend, finishing in fifth place with $5.9 million, with a domestic total of $72 million. It should end up with around $90 million total, falling shy of $100 million. 

Lionsgate’s The Strangers: Chapter 1, lost less of its audience than anticipated, with the 53% decline putting it in sixth place with $5.6 million, for a $21 million total. It should top out north of $30 million, which is solid for a low-budget horror flick, and bodes well for the rest of Renny Harlin’s already-shot trilogy. In a bit of counter-programming, Angel Studios released the faith-based Sight, but a lack of marketing doomed it to a lacklustre 7th place opening, with only $2.6 million. It seems unlikely this will be the next Sound of Freedom, which had the benefit of appealing to action fans as well as the Christian audience. 

In eighth place, Challengers, which also hit VOD, starting to wrap up its run with $1.3 million, with the $46 million total coming close to a $50 million finish, which put it in the same zone as MGM-Amazon’s Air, which turned into a blockbuster when it hit Prime Video. The same seems to be in the cards for this Zendaya-movie. Meanwhile, Neon’s comedy, Babes, failed to break out, with a weekend just north of $1 million. At the same time, the Amy Winehouse biopic, Back to Black, continued to show serious weakness at the box office, coming in tenth place with only slightly over $1 million for a $4.9 million domestic total.

Given that it’s a holiday weekend, we’ll be back with a full wrap-up of the box office tomorrow. Do you think Furiosa can hold on to first place? Let us know in the comments!

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-furiosa-narrowly-beats-garfield-for-the-3-day-win/

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