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“Ford v Ferrari” roared to a very strong start as an original film that targeted adult audiences. At $31 million (which actually seems a little low; don’t be surprised if higher is reported Monday), it would be good news any week. This one, it owns the track practically by itself.
Theaters fervently hope that, starting with “Frozen 2” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the holiday lineup reverses course. This weekend will see about an $110 million total across North America theaters, compare to $175 million last year — a 40% drop. At this point, no one’s looking to make up the gap between 2018 and 2019; that’s impossible. Performing at par for the rest of the year would be a victory.
Ford - V - Ferrari
“Ford v Ferrari”
James Mangold’s $100 million biopic with Matt Damon and Christian Bale as car designer and racer didn’t set records, but it’s a good performance that ranks as a significant achievement. It’s an original film that appeals to mainly to mature adults, mostly men — 62%, per Disney. These days, most films that target older audiences skew female.
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Perhaps its most crucial achievement is scoring a victory for the 20th Century Fox side of the Disney colossus after multiple disappointments — perhaps giving strength to the argument that there’s room for films that fall well outside the parent company’s preferences for franchises, sequels, and brands.
Ford - V - Ferrari - Summer - Release
“Ford v Ferrari” was originally slated for a summer release; for some, the post-takeover delay suggested doubts, or lack of interest. Instead, it was pitch perfect, especially given its prospects for Oscar nominations. The older male demo speaks to the Academy, and the A+ Cinemascore buttressed a sense of audience interest (as does the Saturday uptick from Friday).
It now heads...
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