Memorial Day Box Office Hits Lowest Numbers Since the 1990s


Hollywood’s ambitions for a sizzling kickoff to the summer box office stumbled on Monday, with Memorial Day weekend ticket sales set to be the weakest in nearly 30 years.

Warner Bros.’s Furiosa outperformed Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Alcon Entertainment’s The Garfield Movie, based on Comscore data. However, the Mad Max prequel’s $32 million domestic opening weekend was the poorest No. 1 performance for Memorial Day weekend since 1995’s Casper, which drew $22.5 million, not adjusted for inflation and excluding 2020 when theaters were shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For perspective, Disney’s live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid premiered last year with $118 million over the holiday, while Paramount Picture’s Top Gun: Maverick soared to $160 million the year before that. Even Furiosa’s forerunner, Mad Max: Fury Road, opened with $45 million in 2015.

The underwhelming outcomes have been partly blamed on last year’s strikes, which halted production for months and pushed the release of Disney’s Deadpool & Wolverine from May to late July. Furthermore, Disney’s Lion King origin story, Mufasa, won’t hit theaters until December, and Paramount’s eighth Mission: Impossible installment has been delayed until next year. This lack of a blockbuster comic book movie to kick off the summer, along with no buildup heading into the season, has been notable.

Although no film has hit the $100 million mark this year, there are still a few promising releases in the pipeline, including Paramount’s A Quiet Place: Day One, Universal’s Despicable Me 4 and Twisters, and Disney’s Inside Out 2 and the aforementioned Deadpool & Wolverine.

Predictions suggest moviegoers will spend $3 billion this summer, falling short of last year’s $4 billion, primarily driven by Warner Bros.’s Barbie and Universal’s Oppenheimer.

Naomi Lim
Naomi Lim
White House Reporter.

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