Was Mad Max Fury Road a Flop at the box office?

It is estimated that Fury Road lost anywhere from 20-80 million dollars at the box office in it’s initial theatrical run.

The film grossed close to 400 million dollars at the global box office and had very strong reviews from audiences and critics.

In spite of this the 4th film from the Mad Max franchise was largely seen as a flop from people who monitor box office results.

However, overtime the film has turned a profit largely due to non theatrical revenue such as DVD/Blu-ray sales and streaming/TV revenue.

Because of Fury Roads incredible performance on home media Warner Bros recently greenlit and has produced a prequel to Fury Road titled “Furiosa”.

Fury Road is likely to see an additional bump in physical media sales and streaming due to the hype and anticipation of Furiosa.

How Much Did Mad Max Fury Road cost to make?

The budget for Mad Max Fury Road is given at a range of anywhere from 155-185 million dollars.

Usually, estimates for budgets are clear and we as the public are not given a range like this but Fury Road had legendary issues with its production.

George Miller’s fourth installment of the franchise supposedly went over budget and production was halted by Warner Bro’s executives without the film having shot any of the opening or ending scenes of the film.

Once new ownership took over Miller was allowed to shoot for 3-4 weeks in the African Dessert which likely increased the budget of the film from that 155 million point.

The halted production could have ballooned the budget to that higher-end range of 185 million. Whereas if they just continued to film the movie costs would have been much lower.

Every bit of that 185 million was on the screen however, the production value is hard to match.

Mad Max Fury Road: Revenue and Ticket sales

Fury Road grossed over 153 million domestically at the box office, also pulling in 221 million in ticket sales overseas for a worldwide total of 375 million.

The film did exceptionally well at the box office in George Miller’s home country of Australia, grossing over 16 million in the territory.

A few notable overperformers include Japan (13 million) and South Korea (28 million).

Non-Theatrical Revenue: DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming/TV/VOD

As of this publish date (10/16/2022) Mad Max Fury Road is nearing 57 million in domestic DVD/Blu-ray sales which is an incredible number.

The movie has an exceptional reference quality 4k Blu-Ray with a booming Dolby atmos track.

I own the film and think it’s one of the best audio-visual experiences I’ve had at my home.

The film has achieved cult-like status and is revered by audience members.

In terms of distribution deals with streaming services/TV there is no way of knowing how much Fury Road made from these revenue streams.

This is not publicly available information but one can assume Warner Bros made a hefty amount considering streaming has overtaken physical media sales.

VOD or video-on-demand numbers are not available for Mad Max Fury Road either.

How Did Fury Road not Make a profit?

Mad Max Fury Road is undoubtedly one of the best films of the decade and one of the greatest action movies of all time. It was nominated for 10 Oscars and ended up winning 6 of them.

Critics and audiences alike adored the film with word of mouth being overwhelmingly positive.

However, with all these positive indicators it was estimated that Mad Max Fury Road lost about 20-80 million in its initial theatrical run.

How could a film make 375 million on a 185 million budget and not make a profit at the box office? There are numerous factors to consider.

Marketing costs and sharing ticket sales with Theaters

One is that studios split half the ticket sales with movie theaters. That 375 million is quickly cut to 187 million.

Another major factor is marketing. To get 375 million in ticket sales you need a lot of people to go see your movie.

In Fury Roads’ case, 221 of that 375 million came overseas. Warner Bros had to effectively market this film to non- English speaking countries who had no pre-existing relationship with the Mad Max IP.

This costs tens of millions of dollars to effectively market a film of this scale to an international audience.

Domestically they had to market fury road to the 25-35 age demographic who also were not familiar with the Mad Max franchise.

Why Did Fury Road Flop at the Box office?

The biggest reason Fury Road flopped at the box office is that it was a doormat Intellectual property. The last movie from the franchise was released 30 years before fury road.

The 25-35 age demographic is the most desirable when it comes to the box office and none of that demographic was exposed to the IP before fury road.

So in reality this movie was acting as an original film instead of a pre-existing IP. Another reason Mad Max Fury Road flopped is because of it being rated R.

Studios ideally want all their films to be PG-13 because an R rating can isolate a large section of the public.