For a second weekend, an older-male-skewing movie has vastly outperformed projections to take #1 at the box office. ‘Ford V Ferrari’ was expected to do about $25 million, but it actually zipped past that to $31.5M and $52M worldwide. This performance really makes the failure of ‘Doctor Sleep’ even worse. There was some speculation that ‘Doctor Sleep’ faltered because of its two-and-a-half-hour run time, but ‘Ford V Ferrari’ is about the same length and made almost twice as much, so that’s no longer a viable excuse.
It also could very well be an awards contender as everyone loves it. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 92%, and audiences have given it an A+ CinemaScore and 4½ stars (out of five) via PostTrak. ‘Ford V Ferrari’ was directed by James Mangold (‘Logan’) and stars Christian Bale and Matt Damon, but it looks like the real audience draw is simply that it’s a high-quality movie!
Last week’s champ, ‘Midway’ is still performing, and took the #2 spot, although its gross is significantly lower than that of ‘Ford V Ferrari’, earning just $8.75M. That was enough to top this week’s other major new release, ‘Charlie’s Angels’. That picture was never expected to be a huge hit, and its projected opening was in the $12-14M neighborhood, but came in with a lowly $8.6M. Reportedly, Sony knew this was going to tank and dramatically slashed its last-minute advertising budget to curb the loss.
Audiences gave it 3 stars and a B+. Not surprisingly, critics don’t care for it, with its RT score at 59%.
Why the poor performance? Probably a mixture of reasons. Like ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ and ‘Doctor Sleep’, it pulls from an ancient property, that apparently doesn’t resonate with modern moviegoers. And while I maintain that stars don’t draw audiences to movies, the complete lack of big names can still hurt.
Elizabeth Banks, who directed, produced, co-wrote, and co-starred, has never headlined a hit movie. Ella Balinska is a complete unknown, and Naomi Scott is just making a name for herself after ‘Power Rangers’ and ‘Aladdin’. But ‘Power Rangers’ was a flop, and despite making over $1 billion, ‘Aladdin’ was kind of a sleeper hit. As for Kristen Stewart, while she was on top of the world during her ‘Twilight’ heyday, she has actively avoided starring in another potential franchise picture, choosing to stick with smaller, indie flicks. She has gotten praise for such roles, but she has also taken herself out of the spotlight. Unlike Scott, she is no longer a star on the rise. But for the most part, she was the biggest “name” associated with ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and that wasn’t enough to sell it.
Unlike other action movies, the foreign box office may not salvage this picture, as it is already a dud in China, where it only made $7.7M, but unlike a lot of movies these days, it is being rolled out very slowing in foreign territories and won’t arrive in some countries until early next year.
As for the rest, ‘Playing with Fire’ and ‘Last Christmas’ round out the Top Five, meaning that in its second weekend, ‘Doctor Sleep’ has already slid out of the Top Five. In its third weekend, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ is no longer even in the Top Ten. While ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is certainly a flop and will lose money, it isn’t a full-blown disaster like those two simply because it didn’t cost that much to make– reportedly $48M.
- Ford V Ferrari (20th Century Fox/Disney) – $31.5M
- Midway (Lionsgate/AGC) – $8.75M
- Charlie’s Angels (Sony) – $8.6M
- Playing With Fire (Paramount) – $8.55M
- Last Christmas (Universal) – $6.7M
‘Joker’ remains in the Top Ten, resting at #8, and has now crossed the $1B mark at the global box office– a first for a rated-R movie. Not too shabby for such an unconventional comic book movie. I don’t think ANYONE saw this happening, not even Warner Brothers or the folks that made it!
Next week should easily belong to ‘Frozen II’, although ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ could prove to be competition, as it is another feel-good movie that could appeal to families. (There is some concern that ‘Frozen II’ may underperform because it arrives six long years after the first.)
Also opening is ’21 Bridges’ starring ‘Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman in his first starring role since his big breakthrough as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, it is opening in a terrible slot. The older male audience that seems to be the main demographic for ’21 Bridges’ has been satiated with ‘Midway’ and ‘Ford V Ferrari’. This would have done better in August or September when the competition wasn’t so fierce.
But what do you think? Will you be headed to the theater next weekend?