“Ford v Ferrari” Races to First-Place Finish


November 15-17, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Ford v Ferrari  $31 million
Midway $8.7 million
Charlie's Angels  $8.6 million
Playing with Fire  $8.5 million
Last Christmas $6.7 million

Film fans wailing about the death of the drama for adults can breathe a sigh of relief as Ford v Ferrari charged ahead to take the top spot with an excellent $31 million. The anxiety was understandable, but it's a positive sign, as audiences rejected another shameless reboot (Charlie's Angels) in favor of a period piece starring great actors. (Though of course there's an uncharitable view that sexism came into play, but when your big-budget movie is going to make less domestically than The Favourite, that argument doesn't hold a lot of weight.) Ford v Ferrari is a big crowd-pleaser, and its box office success should fuel an awards campaign that was starting to lag.

Midway dropped to second place, but it fell by a lot, and it will still be a flop considering it cost upwards of $100 million and may only make half that. Charlie's Angels re-emerged only to get shot down. The marketing pushed (perhaps too hard) on its girl power angle, but Sony should have known this wasn't going to work. ABC tried to reboot the show several years ago, only to see it canceled after four episodes. Fresh new faces and the director of one of the highest-grossing films ever made by a woman weren't enough to get audiences interested.

Playing with Fire and Last Christmas each dropped around 50 percent, with a paltry $25 and $22 million to show for it, respectively. Neither of these will be fondly remembered.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Waves, the intense family drama from Trey Edward Shults. The film averaged $36,140 on its four screens.
  • The Good Liar may have been a good movie (at least in this critic's opinion), but it had a pretty sad box office return. The Helen Mirren-Ian McKellen thriller earned just $5.6 million, good for seventh place.
  • While there was a small hope goodwill from the few people who did see it would keep Doctor Sleep afloat, the Stephen King adaptation sank like a stone all the way down to sixth place.

Next week:

The Thanksgiving onslaught is upon us. It's the NYPD vs. Mister Rogers vs. the unstoppable juggernaut of Disney. Frozen II will of course be No. 1. While I'd like to imagine everyone is over this lackluster series (and its awful songs), this will be yet another dominant effort from Disney, which will soon own us all. I think $85 million at minimum for this. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood should earn at least $15 million from kids of all ages, while 21 Bridges would theoretically serve as good counterprogramming, but will only earn about $12 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.