Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s Ford v Ferrari, an original movie aimed at older males about the 1966 Le Mans race between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari, will lay claim to the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office with a $20 million, maybe even $30M+ start. That will stop Sony’s franchise reboot of Charlie’s Angels in its tracks with its lowest opening in the series — $10M-$12M per industry estimates at 3,400 theaters.
The first two Charlie’s Angels movies, which starred Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu and were directed by McG, opened to $40.1M (2000’s Charlie’s Angels) and $37.6M (2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), respectively.
Also this frame comes New Line/Bron Studios’ Bill Condon-directed Helen Mirren-Ian McKellen movie The Good Liar, which is tracking in the low-single digits. If it’s lucky and finds its much older 60+ audience, the pic could have a shot at a $10M start. If it’s lucky. No Thursday night previews for Good Liar.
Overseas, Ford v Ferrari revs up in 41 markets this week (or about 67% of its foreign footprint), beginning in France today and including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Spain and the UK among majors through Friday. Estimates are coming in around the $20M zone for the debut frame, for a potential $50M global start. Stateside previews for Ford v Ferrari start at 6 PM tomorrow, while Charlie’s Angels will have 7 PM previews tonight with full Thursday night previews starting at 4:30 PM tomorrow at 2,700 sites.
A natural comp might seem to be Ron Howard’s Rush, but we’re hearing folks are looking more to period drama thrillers like Bridge of Spies, Argo and even Sully, which each boasted big star power. Ultimately Bridge of Spies ($93.2M final international unadjusted, $72.3M domestic) did best in Italy, the UK, Spain, France and Japan. Argo ($96.3M final overseas, $136M stateside further boosted by an Oscar Best Picture win) was tops in Australia, the UK, France, Spain and Italy; and the Top 5 on Sully ($115.7M offshore total, $125M domestic) were Japan, Australia, the UK, China and France.
For reference, Rush ($65M international final, $26.9M domestic) naturally had its best performance in the UK, followed by Italy, Japan, Germany and Austria. Coming out of Ford v. Ferrari‘s world premiere at Telluride and play at Toronto, the James Mangold-directed Christian Bale-Matt Damon pic has already clocked 91% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Europe should be the top play for Ford v Ferrari (which is being released by Disney abroad per the Fox acquisition) with markets like France, Italy and the UK, which are heavily into racing. Mangold was at the London Film Festival screening and he, Bale and Damon all attended a Paris premiere (the movie in France, as with other markets, goes by the title Le Mans ’66 so there’s bound to be natural curiosity). Asia is a tough one to call, and there is currently no China date. Korea and Japan are not within the opening suite of markets, so the hope will be to build on the early momentum.
Charlie’s Angels, directed, written and produced by Elizabeth Banks and starring Kristen Stewart, Aladdin‘s Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, is tracking stateside with young girls, but the pic isn’t even hot with them; just higher than males. If there’s any miracle here, the under 25 female demo, one of the most impossible to market to, will decide at the last minute to come out and see this film. Some distribs such as STX wait until the final moments to target the young girl demo on social, given how they decide to go to the movies at the last minute, and in packs. It’s that sort of habit many were unable to predict when Banks’ Pitch Perfect 2 opened in May 2015, and bested its $50M projection with an awesome $69.2M opening.
Unfortunately that’s not expected to happen here. Charlie’s Angels came on low on tracking and has stayed there. Offshore, the Angels will have a well-staggered rollout in Brazil, China, Korea and Russia this weekend. After that, the movie takes a break, likely to make way for the all female-skewing Frozen 2 next weekend. Charlie’s Angels will continue releasing through the end of the year and into early 2020.
Charlie’s Angels cost significantly lower than both of McG’s previous pics in the series; respectively, those pics carried costs of $93M and $120M. Sony says the feature cost a net of $48M with co-financing from Perfect World and 2.0 Entertainment. We’ve heard net is in the mid-$50Ms.
In regards to holdovers, Lionsgate’s Midway is expected to decline 55%, while Warner Bros’ Doctor Sleep will dive 60% with $8.1M and $5.6M, respectively. Midway through five days counts an estimated $23.5M, while Doctor Sleep stands at $17.2M.