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Zelda Director Weighs In On Furiosa's Box Office Miss

"Like the movie or not, creative swings like this don't come around often."


Wes Ball, a veteran Hollywood director known for the Maze Runner series and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, has weighed in with his thoughts following Furiosa's slow start at the box office.

The director, who is also signed on for the live-action Zelda film, said people who enjoy the theatrical experience need not worry, because "movies will be okay." He said he believes the film business is like many others in that there are peaks and valleys, but ultimately strong storytelling will draw people back to the theater.

He also contended that George Miller came back to make Furiosa not because 2015's Fury Road was successful at the box office, but because the film was beloved. "Movies will live on," he said.

Also in his social media posts, Ball said people should not think of Furiosa as a $168 million movie, referring to its reported production budget. He said it's probably closer to $300 million when all production and marketing expenses are factored in (minus tax breaks provided to Furiosa by Australia to shoot there).

"Like the movie or not, creative swings like this don't come around often... when they do, try to enjoy the ambition of it all in a great theater," he said.

Furiosa is a prequel to 2015's Fury Road and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a young Furiosa. The movie features an even younger Furiosa played by Alyla Browne, and the filmmakers used AI to subtly blend the faces of Browne and Taylor-Joy together.

Furiosa has made $64.8 million worldwide so far after debuting with $26.3 million in the US for its opening weekend. Furiosa was the No. 1 movie at the box office over the Memorial Day long weekend, and it was the first Mad Max movie to open at No. 1.

For comparison, Fury Road earned $45 million for its opening weekend in 2015, going on to earn $154 million in North America and $226 million from international markets for a total of $380.4 million worldwide.

Variety cited analysts who said Furiosa fell short because "prequels rarely do as well as direct sequels, especially when they don't have the original stars."

This was not a good Memorial Day weekend for the US box office. In fact, not counting 2020 during the pandemic, this was the worst Memorial Day weekend at the domestic box office since 1994, when Casper opened with $22 million, not adjusted for inflation.

Furiosa isn't the only high-profile 2024 film that has come up short at the box office, as Sony's Madame Web flopped in February.

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