MOVIES

A Mad Max Saga Bombed At The Box Office

“Mad Max” movies have never fully relied on hefty star power, and have been sold more on the strength of their breathtaking action, intricate world-building, and gritty stories. “Fury Road” was a visual onslaught, a balls-to-the-wall, nonstop thrill ride that captivated even the most skeptical critics. So why didn’t “Furiosa: A Mad Max Story” land with a massive box office haul as many might have expected? 

We could blame the marketing. Trailers for the film didn’t do enough in our eyes to set it apart from “Fury Road.” With none of the same stars but several of the same characters, some fans watching the pre-release hype might not have been sold, especially as the early footage made it seem like the same rollercoaster ride as the previous entry. But critics and audiences — even the ones giving it glowing reviews — have remarked that it’s not nearly as action-packed, being a somewhat slower, more dramatic story than the fast-paced “Fury Road.” That may have led to some early disappointment, or at least a sense for some fans that it wasn’t a must-watch in theaters.

More broadly, though, the excitement surrounding “Furiosa” seemed almost dim by comparison to the last movie. The buzz was through the roof in 2015, especially as a rare R-rated blockbuster, but in the years since, acclaimed adult genre movies have upped their game, with the likes of “Deadpool” and “Joker” making it harder for “Furiosa” to stand out.

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