‘Furiosa’ Kills ‘Mad Max’ Franchise, Sequel Put on Hold After Mega Flop

Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Mad Max franchise has been put on hold for the time being after Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the prequel to 2015’s Mad Max Fury Road, bombed at the box office, setting a record for one of the worst Memorial Day weekends in decades.

With a production budget of $160 million, Furiosa grossed roughly $70 million in the global box office this past Memorial Day weekend, putting it way behind the needed break-even mark, not including marketing and promotion costs. As a result, the studio has halted plans on director George Miller’s Mad Max: The Wasteland, an intended sequel to Fury Road. Per The Hollywood Reporter (THR):

Miller and Nico Lathouris wrote the scripts for both The Wasteland and Furiosa as part of the development process of Mad Max: Fury Road, the 2015 Warner Bros. film that became a surprise awards season juggernaut, winning six Oscars, and which became an instant action classic. The Wasteland would follow Max Rockatansky in the year before Fury Road, and is said to involve a young mother — and (naturally) include plenty of action.

On Fury Road’s opening weekend, the split was 60 percent male to 40 percent, according to sources with access to exit surveys conducted by PostTrak. But Furiosa’s audience was 71 percent male and 29 percent female, a worrisome decline and a startling number for a feature marketed as a female-driven vehicle. And the 18-24 age group, who are the most frequent moviegoers, plummeted from 31 percent for Fury Road to 21 percent for Furiosa.

Director George Miller told journalists in early May that the fate of his intended Mad Max sequel would depend on how well Furiosa performed at the box office. Despite the poor numbers, Furiosa at least has scored well with those who have seen it, earning a respectable 7.9 rating on IMDB as of this writing and a 90 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. As to why the movie likely failed, insiders and marketing experts pin it on the fact it aimed to be a Mad Max movie without the titular character. One theater executive said that the studios have likely been betting too much money on them and would fare better if they had lower budgets while catering to its specific fanbase.

“IP like Mad Max and Ghostbusters is old, and they have the fans they’re going to have,” the executive told THR. “If studios can budget to that, they might make some decent money.”

“I think Furiosa suffered without Charlize. People who see the movie love it. The problem is getting them into theaters. She would have been able to do that,” another studio insider said.

Fury Road was an outlier in the series. It also had a hot young star and a huge female star. Nine years later, it had neither,” said another executive.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning Christian tech thrillerEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free rental can also be streamed on Google PlayVimeo on Demand, or YouTube Movies. Follow on X @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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