A Mad Max Ending

The expectation was for a Summer 2024 Blockbuster, the reality was a fizzle.  There have been so much written about the failure to generate a barely noticeable Memorial Weekend debut of Furiosa, the latest Mad Max installment.  After only collecting $31 million at the box office over the four-day weekend.  One commentator after another has an opinion or analyses are still trending on the Internet.  Why didn’t this critically lauded fifth work in the series connect?  

Mad Max No. 5.

After the positive debut reception at the Cannes Film Festival, George Miller’s $165 million dystopian epic looked like a sure winner with a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score.  No one knows what the public will like.  Nine years after the release of Mad Max:Fury Road, director and writer Miller took the prequel route with a backstory to Charlie Theron’s Imperator Furiosa character.  This is a no spoiler commentary. I have not watched the movie, but planning to get my ticket soon.


The world is a different place from 2015.  Covid, wars on two fronts, perhaps there is audience fatigue on dark subject matter. Who can blame the public? At times, strolling through a news feed requires a Paxil.

Ticket goers, straining under inflation, are more cautious about shelling out twenty or thirty dollars for a movie based on a cinema cult property.

The window for theatrical release before on a streaming service has shortened.  Viewers are deciding to wait to watch releases at home.  IF and the Ryan Gosling comedy The Fall Guy had less than spectacular openings. 

Top billed Ann Taylor-Joy is not the box office draw the industry many in the industry expected. The Miami native’s career could take a hit. Studios may no longer gamble on The Queen Gambit’s drawing eyeballs to movie houses. Meanwhile, co-star Chris Hemsworth will be fine wearing tights in another MCU flick.

As a fan of the Mel Gibson Mad Max Trilogy, I would have liked to a story based on the lone survivor theme.  However, given the veteran action star’s age and in particular his well publicised anger management problems, the creative team sought a fresh story more in line with present day sensibilities.

The present media frenzy points to writing off the franchise.  I give it a few years, then there will be a reboot with a new director and lead actor.  The Mad Max Saga has only stalled, waiting for a refuel.

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