'Garfield' and 'Furiosa' battle in weak North America box office

By AFP   May 26, 2024 | 07:23 pm PT
'Garfield' and 'Furiosa' battle in weak North America box office
Anya Taylor-Joy stars in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'. Photo by AFP
"The Garfield Movie" and "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" battled for the top spot in North American theaters over the long US holiday weekend, but it was still a rough Memorial Day at the box office, industry estimates showed Sunday.

"The Garfield Movie," Sony's animated reboot about the lazy cat who loves lasagna, starring Chris Pratt ("Guardians of the Galaxy") as the orange feline, was expected to take $31.9 million from Friday to Monday, Exhibitor Relations said.

"Furiosa" -- the fifth installment in Australian director George Miller's "Mad Max" post-apocalyptic action series, starring Anya Taylor-Joy in the role first played in Charlize Theron -- was right behind at $31.5 million over the four-day weekend.

"Furiosa," from Warner Bros, was ahead in the estimated Friday-Sunday totals, Exhibitor said, but the four-day figure is the key metric.

Final figures are due out Tuesday.

"'Garfield' is not among the animation elites, but it's reasonably budgeted," said industry analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. "It's doing what it's supposed to do."

As for "Furiosa," Gross called it "a weak opening for Mad Max's 5th episode," adding that though it was well received by critics and audiences, the prequel paled at the box office in comparison to "Mad Max: Fury Road," which starred Theron.

Memorial Day is the traditional kickoff to summer in the United States, and also usually a big weekend for new movies -- meaning studios are sure to be disappointed with the overall box office total.

Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter said whichever film triumphs, it will be the worst Memorial Day opening in nearly three decades.

In third place at $21 million was Paramount's animated feature "If," which stars Cailey Fleming as a young girl who, along with neighbor Ryan Reynolds, embarks on an adventure to reconnect forgotten made-up playmates with their children.

Fourth place went to 20th Century action sci-fi "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes," at $17.1 million, and in fifth was Universal's action-comedy "The Fall Guy," starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, with $7.8 million.

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