Garfield Movie Paws its Way to Top of Box Office, Outclaws Furiosa’s Gritty Action

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There was a hushed atmosphere in North American movie theaters over the recent weekend as the silver screens were once more owned by Sony’s “The Garfield Movie” and Warner Bros’ “ Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” alongside a line-up of returning favorites. Turning the tables on their Memorial weekend openings, the animated feline icon subtly advanced beyond the gritty post-apocalyptic hero in their second shared weekend.

“The Garfield Movie” clawed its way to the top of the charts, raking in a hefty $14 million in ticket sales. “Furiosa,” despite its adrenaline-pumping action, took a step back, finding itself in a third-place tie with “IF.” Accruing an estimated $10.8 million each in box office receipts, “IF” nudged its way slightly ahead, according to Sunday’s studio estimates.

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“The Garfield Movie,” in its second weekend in North America, saw a moderate dip of only 42% in ticket sales. However, it managed to pounce on the top spot of the global box office, receiving an additional $27 million from the international market. The running tally for the animated feature, helmed by Chris Pratt’s voice, has now reached a colossal $152.2 million worldwide. The movie is expected to hold its reign in the market until Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” arrives on June 14.

“Furiosa,” on the other hand, experienced a sharper decline of 59% from its opening weekend, pulling in just under $10.8 million across 3,864 locations in the U.S. and Canada. This brings its domestic total to $49.7 million and its global sum to a commendable $114.4 million, up against a $168 million production budget.

The weekend also saw the debut of numerous new releases on over 1,000 screens, including titles such as Sony/Crunchyroll’s anime “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” IFC’s thriller “In a Violent Nature,” Roadside Attractions’ comedy “Summer Camp” featuring Diane Keaton, Alfre Woodard, and Kathy Bates, and Bleecker Street’s thought-provoking drama “Ezra.” Unfortunately, none of these newcomers could break into the top five.

Disney also unveiled the critically-acclaimed documentary, “ Young Woman and the Sea,” which stars Daisy Ridley as the first woman to swim the English Channel. However, the house of the mouse did not disclose its ticket sales. Similarly, Richard Linklater’s “ Hit Man,” currently screening in select theaters across the nation, did not reveal box office stats before it transitions to streaming next week.

Paramount’s “ IF,” managed to secure second place with $10.8 million in its third weekend. This imaginative fantasy by John Krasinski, starring Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming, has now generated over $80.4 million domestically and $138 million worldwide. Disney/20th Century Studios’ “ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” clung to the fourth place in its fourth weekend, bringing in $8.8 million. The apocalyptic saga has amassed $140 million domestically and $337.1 million on a global scale.

Rounding out the top five was the Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt action-comedy “The Fall Guy,” drawing in $4.2 million. Available for purchase at home, its domestic total now stands at $80.3 million. Globally, the Universal release has so far made $157.9 million.

The performances of other films were just as spirited. “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” an anime based on a popular Japanese high school volleyball series, picked up an estimated $3.5 million from 1,119 locations. IFC Films’ slasher, “In a Violent Nature,” launched with $2.2 million from 1,426 locations, indicating a major release for IFC Films and Shudder. “Ezra,” a narrative about a stand-up comedian and his autistic son, sculpted a healthy $1.2 million from 1,320 screens.

Comparing with previous years, the 2024 box office appears to be gasping for air, decreasing 23.9% from last year, and 42.2% down from 2019, dropping even further by 46.4% when measured against 2018 figures, as indicated by Comscore. This time last year, box office smashes like “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” which opened to $120.7 million, and “The Little Mermaid,” which raked in over $41.4 million in its second weekend, were seen. This year, however, hasn’t yet witnessed any film opening to more than $100 million domestically.

Despite not having “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” as contenders this time last year, other substantial hits like “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.36 billion global total), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ($845.5 million), and “Fast X” ($704.7 million) were still setting milestones.

Insights from Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore, state that the lag can be attributed to this year’s trends. “The attention right now is focused on what will be the big movie to get the summer moving in the right direction,” he noted. That pivotal summer movie may just be “Inside Out 2,” projected to open with over $85 million, potentially kickstarting other behemoths like “Despicable Me 4” (July 3) and “Deadpool & Wolverine” (July 26).

The lack of a major superhero movie is noticeable this year, but Dergarabedian pointed out that family-oriented films, like “IF” and “The Garfield Movie,” are resonating with audiences for their longevity and appeal. As of now, the highest-grossing film this year is “ Dune: Part Two,” which has amassed over $711 million globally since it was released by Warner Bros. earlier this March. The sleeper hit, currently accounting for over 10.5% of the total box office for 2024, is still making waves.

“Dune” filmmaker Denis Villeneuve expressed his disappointment while accepting an award at the Canadian Screen Awards. “I hope soon that there will be other successes at the box office,” Villeneuve explained, reflecting optimism for a more lively summer box office ahead.

Final statistics for ticket sales from Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters will be released on Monday, following initial estimates by Comscore that expect:

  1. “The Garfield Movie,” $14 million.
  2. “IF,” $10.8 million.
  3. “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” $10.8 million.
  4. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” $8.8 million.
  5. “The Fall Guy,” $4.2 million.
  6. “The Strangers: Chapter 1,” $3.6 million.
  7. “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” $3.5 million.
  8. “In a Violent Nature,” $2.1 million.
  9. “Ezra,” $1.2 million.
  10. “Sight,” $1.1 million.

With the summer blockbuster season soon to unfold, audiences and industry experts alike are waiting to see which film will eventually play the heroic part in reviving the dwindling box office numbers.