Box Office: ‘Furiosa’ Races to $3.5 Million in Previews

Witness her: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is off to the races at the box office this holiday weekend.

Director George Miller’s R-rated prequel to “Mad Max: Fury Road” has made $3.5 million in previews so far. The Warner Bros. action film is expected to bring in $40 million to $45 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, roughly the same as what “Fury Road” made across three days in 2015.

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“Fury Road,” which starred Tom Hardy as wasteland warrior Max Rockatansky and introduced Charlize Theron as the badass driver Imperator Furiosa, opened with $45.4 million after $3.7 million in Thursday previews.

“Furiosa” winds back the clock and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a younger version of Theron’s character. It shows how she became a fearless sharpshooter working for the evil Immortan Joe and his War Boys, later seen in “Fury Road.” Chris Hemsworth also stars as Dementus, the leader of a pack of biker warriors.

After the film’s Cannes debut, reviews have been mostly positive, but it’ll be hard to replicate the success of “Fury Road.” The predecessor grossed $380 million worldwide and went down as one of the best action movies of the decade, if not of all time. It earned 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture and director, and won six for costume design, editing, makeup and hairstyle design, production design, sound editing and sound mixing. “Furiosa” cost $168 million to produce, plus marketing costs, so it’ll need to hit the gas at the international box office to succeed.

Also opening this weekend is Sony and Alcon’s animated “The Garfield Movie,” starring Chris Pratt as the voice of the orange tabby. It’s expected to open in second place with $30 million to $35 million, and it made $1.925 in previews. Last week’s box office winner, John Krasinkski’s “IF” starring Ryan Reynolds, looks to add $15 million to $17 million in its second week.

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