‘Garfield’ Takes No. 1 From a Flat ‘Furiosa’ as a Miserable May Ends for Box Office

With no major wide releases entering the top 5 this weekend, Sony/Alcon/DNEG’s “The Garfield Movie” needed just $14 million to take the No. 1 spot at the box office, taking it from Warner Bros.’ flailing “Furiosa.”

Dropping just 42% from its $24 million 3-day opening on Memorial Day weekend, “Garfield” now has a total of $51.5 million domestic and $152 million worldwide. Sporting an Alcon-financed marketing budget of $60 million before Sony’s marketing costs, “Garfield” should easily clear the break-even point before its biggest upcoming competition, Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” hits theaters on June 14.

But while “Garfield” is a respectable success for Sony Pictures, it has not been enough to pull the box office out of the malaise that it has been in for the past two months, as overall weekend grosses are only reaching an industry-estimated $70 million.

Domestic grosses for the month of May reached only $547 million, nearly 30% down from 2023. That makes both Memorial Day weekend and the overall May total the worst unadjusted numbers seen by the box office since 1998.

A lack of sufficient four-quadrant summer blockbusters is to blame for this prolonged slump, but some films that would normally be counted on to provide secondary support aren’t performing as hoped.

“Furiosa,” a film that wasn’t expected to be one of the biggest films of the summer, is falling well short of the theatrical run of its predecessor, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” falling 59% from its opening weekend to just $10.7 million as it is in danger of falling to third on the charts behind Paramount’s “IF.”

With $49.6 million grossed domestically after two weekends, “Furiosa” is now a steep 44% behind the pace of “Fury Road,” which grossed $88 million before inflation adjustment after two weekends.

Warner Bros. shrugged off their DC franchise struggles with a slew of hits over the past year such as “Barbie,” “Wonka,” “Dune: Part Two” and “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” deadlifting the box office as the release slate was depleted by the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes. But with a reported budget of $168 million, “Furiosa” will be the studio’s first high-profile flop of 2024.

“IF,” in its third weekend, is neck-and-neck with “Furiosa” for the No. 2 spot with $10.8 million, continuing to show solid legs as its domestic total reaches $80 million while its global total reaches $138 million. With a budget of $110 million, “IF” will pass the break-even point theatrically and should turn a profit in home release.

Disney/20th Century’s “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” takes fourth with $8.8 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $140 million domestic and $337 million worldwide. Domestically, the film will pass the $146.8 million total earned by “War for the Planet of the Apes” in 2017 before inflation adjustment; but the film will fall short of the $490 million global total of “War” due to shortfalls in China, where interest in Hollywood blockbusters has cratered since the “Apes” reboot series was last in theaters.

Universal’s “The Fall Guy” completes the top 5 with $4.2 million, earning a poor $80.2 million domestic and $157.8 million worldwide after five weekends against a $125 million budget before marketing.

Outside the top 5, multiple specialty films tried to take advantage of the lack of wide release competition to find a niche for themselves to limited results. Crunchyroll’s “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle” earned $3.5 million from 1,119 venues, a lower result than the $8.1 million opening the anime distributor drew for “Spy x Family Code” in April, though this adaptation of the hit sports manga and anime series about a high school volleyball team has already made $75 million worldwide.

IFC’s gory slasher “A Violent Nature” earned $2.1 million from 1,426 theaters. While not impressive on paper, it’s an impressive achievement for IFC as it continues to find traction with fans of independent horror, coming off the heels of the distributor-record $2.8 million opening of “Late Night With the Devil,” which grossed just under $10 million in March.

Finally, Disney released the inspirational true-story film “The Young Woman and the Sea,” which stars Daisy Ridley as Gertrude Ederle, the Olympic gold medalist who became the first woman to swim the English Channel. Originally produced for a release on Disney+, the movie was moved to a limited theatrical release after strong test screenings and at the urging of producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Disney is not reporting box office figures for the film.

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