Mad Max: Fury Road – What made it such a hit?
The fourth instalment of the Mad Max franchise was released in 2015 to great acclaim, and quickly became the best movie of the year and one of the best adventure films of all time.
Starring British actor Tom Hardy, known for Hollywood blockbusters like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Venom, and Oscar-winner Charlize Theron as Emperor Furiosa, the already well-scripted and fantastically produced film is backed by a strong cast.
We take a dive into the success of the film and how it has remained ever-present and popular in other forms.
Mad Max: Fury Road was very well received by critics and fans alike. In it’s opening weekend it took over US$45 million and won a number of prestigious awards in a number of different categories, including:
- AACTA Awards 2015 and 2016
- Academy Awards (Oscars) 2016
- American Film Institute
- Critics Choice awards
Many sequels sometimes fall short of the original or are seen as simply milking to cow: this instalment of the franchise added a new dimension to the story and characters, using new technology to create a beautiful cinematic masterpiece and bring it to a new audience.
Why was it so popular?
- As well as Hardy and Theron, the film also starred Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Zoe Kravitz (Divergent, X-Men: First Class), and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
- The furious action, explosion and dirt bikes do not detract from the fact that the film is telling a great story and is supported by well thought out characters. Each character builds a relationship with the audience, telling just enough to keep them interested, but retaining an air of mystery to keep people engaged.
- Many action films have previously focused on male protagonists taking charge and commandeering the spotlight. More recently, the film industry has been making efforts to showcase the strengths of women by creating leading female characters that have previously been neglected. This instalment of the franchise manages to do just this without coming across as preachy or forced – the female characters are portrayed as strong and able to handle themselves as it is truthful to real women.
More than just a film
The popularity of Mad Max: Fury Road, has sparked a plethora of merchandise and spin offs. There is pretty much anything anyone who is a fan of the film, and the franchise could ever want, from clothing to games, bedding to mugs.
From branded clothing, interactive games and home furnishings, fans of the film can showcase and interact with their admiration in countless ways.
- Many online casino operators will add a unique spin to their virtual table games and slots to attract a wider audience and keep the games interactive. Among these platforms is 888 Casino, a veteran provider with an in-house team of skilled developers who use their technical skills to create unique and exciting fanbase-tailored slots.
888 Casino has created their own slot game based on the film, a great way to please both fans of the film and regular online casino players. It offers five reels, with three rows and 243 different ways to win. Players are attached to one of the fortified vehicles moving through the desert landscape. The six main characters are the high value symbols, including Max, Imperator Furiosa, Nux, The Splendid Angharad, and JQKA are the lower values.
Bonus features include the Wild Sandstorm, where all the high value symbols transform into wilds, Free Spins dotted throughout, and a progressive jackpot. The look and feel of the game is also very in-keeping with the film.
As well as video games on steam, there is even a Mad Max board game. Released in 2017, it encompasses the whole franchise rather than just the 2015 film. It is a simple card game for 2-4 players, where players need to collect cards, play action cards, and avoid being targeted by opponents, to make sets and win the game.
- One of the most popular spin off toys are Pop! Vinyl Figures. The most popular elements of pop culture have been immortalised in these small, plastic figurines, and they are collected by those who like the figurines themselves, and those who add specific franchises to their collections. Having characters immortalised in this way is a key indicator of their popularity.
- Fans of the film can buy anything from t-shirts to dresses, leggings and skirts to hoodies and sweaters, emblazoned with images of characters, graphic art and logos of the film. They are available for men, women and children, and is any size needed. There are also scarves and socks available, and even a market for baby clothes!
Fans of the film can also find phone cases, stickers, backpacks, pins, tote bags, water bottles and masks to fulfil their need for Mad Max branded merchandise.
- Fans can adorn their homes with posters, canvasses, fridge magnets, wall tapestries, mugs and cups, clocks and even bathroom décor like shower curtains and bathmats! One very popular item are acrylic blocks that can be used around the home as decoration and will have movie posters or characters on them.
Super fans can even showcase their love of the film by having custom cushions made, available in pretty much any colour to match and colour scheme and can complement them with matching coasters.
There’s no arguing Mad Max: Fury Road is a much-beloved film, with the franchise as a whole being a household name. Whether you’re just getting into the Mad Max universe or are a seasoned fan, there’s plenty of ways to stay interactive with your favourite film.