Box Office Disaster: 'Furiosa,' 'Garfield' Fail To Attract Moviegoers, Memorial Day Weekend Hits 3-Decade Low

Zinger Key Points
  • New releases "Furiosa" and "The Garfield Movie" struggled at the box office during the Memorial Day weekend.
  • The movie theater sector has struggled in 2024 and the upcoming lineup of summer movies could disappoint moviegoers.

Holiday weekends have typically been strong performers for the movie theater sector.

The Memorial Day weekend box office recorded disappointing figures, suggesting that the film industry in 2024 continues to struggle with the ongoing Hollywood strikes and a hesitant return of moviegoers to theaters.

What Happened: While many people had Memorial Day off work and couldn’t trade stocks due to the major U.S. markets being closed, it seems they chose to travel or spend time with family rather than visit their local movie theaters.

New releases "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" and "The Garfield Movie" struggled at the box office over the weekend, as reported by Variety.

"Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," which comes from Warner Bros. Discovery WBD, grossed $32 million domestically from Friday through Monday as reported by Variety.

"The Garfield Movie," which comes from Sony Group Corp SONY, grossed $31.1 million domestically over the same four-day stretch.

The two new releases and holdover movies saw the box office post its worst Memorial Day weekend in around three decades, according to the report, when excluding the COVID-19 pandemic-impacted year of 2020.

The 2024 Memorial Day weekend box office was down 36% from last year, when "The Little Mermaid" from The Walt Disney Company DIS was released and led the weekend.

Both "Furiosa" and "The Garfield Movie" come from established franchises, which may make the results even more disappointing. Estimates for "Furiosa" saw the post-apocalyptic prequel movie in the well-known "Mad Max" series grossing $40 to $45 million over the holiday weekend.

The early results for "The Garfield Movie" come as the film is one of the limited animated movies and family films in theaters now. The movie could see a strong second weekend before animated film "Inside Out 2" from Disney is released in theaters on June 14.

Related Link: Global Box Office 2024 To Decline 5% In 2023: Bad News For AMC, Cinemark?

What's Next: With the Memorial Day weekend box office results, domestic ticket sales are down 22% year-over-year according to data from Comscore. Compared to 2019, the last pre-COVID year with normal box office results, ticket sales have dropped by 41%.

Data from BoxOfficeMojo shows second quarter box office of $926 million with one month to go. The first quarter box office of $1.61 billion domestically was down 6.6% year-over-year.

Seasonal box office during Winter and Spring were down 21.6% and 23.5% respectively year-over-year, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

The bad news for movie theater stocks like AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC and Cinemark Holdings CNK is the upcoming release schedule doesn't look as strong as past summers.

Here are some of the upcoming movies:

  • "Bad Boys: Ride or Die": June 2
  • "The Watchers": June 2
  • "Inside Out 2": June 14
  • "A Quiet Place: Day One": June 28
  • "Despicable Me 4": July 3
  • "Twisters": July 19
  • "Deadpool & Wolverine": July 26

AMC CEO Adam Aron has highlighted "Deadpool & Wolverine" as one of the most anticipated movies in years. The CEO recently said ticket sales for the movie from Disney are breaking records.

“Some 200,000 movie fans have bought their AMC tickets already. This is more Day 1 ticket sales at AMC than for any other R-rated movie ever,” Aron tweeted about the Disney movie.

Aron has been cautious when discussing the 2024 box office, warning the impact of the Hollywood strikes could continue to hurt the year. However, the CEO remains optimistic about future years.

“Just look a little ahead, and the box office in 2025 and 2026 is going to be so much bigger than 2023 and 2024,” Aron recently said.

The latest box office shortfall comes as movie companies continue to grapple with the growth of streaming platforms, often struggling to balance their content release strategies between theaters and streaming services.

Read Next: AMC CEO Says Bankruptcy Is ‘Inconceivable’ As Shares Hit 52-Week Lows: ‘2025, 2026 Are Going To Be Gangbusters’

Image generated using artificial intelligence via Midjourney.

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