‘Ford v Ferrari’
It was no-contest between Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s Ford v Ferrari and Sony Pictures’ Charlie’s Angels reboot at Australian cinemas last weekend.
Paradoxically, James Mangold’s drama based on the 1966 Le Mans race between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari opened marginally below the US but streets ahead of Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels which, however, outperformed the dismal US bow.
Exhibitors were hoping for more from both titles. “Things are difficult in cinema land at the moment,” says Wallis Cinemas’ soon-to-depart programming manager Sasha Close. “It seems audiences might be waiting for the big Disney films, with Frozen 2 opening on November 28 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker launching on December 19.
“Both Ford v Ferrari and Charlie’s Angels fell slightly short of our estimates. Whilst Ford v Ferrari may be propelled along for a few weeks by good word of mouth and reviews, the Charlie’s Angels reboot was particularly disappointing and may struggle to capture the attention of wider audiences. Data from our girl’s night out events indicated the film is playing very young.”
Meanwhile Transmission Films launched Scott Z. Burns’ The Report, the Amazon Studio’s political drama starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening and Jon Hamm, as an alternate content release on 30 screens, grossing just $44,000.
The saga of the CIA analyst who investigated the agency’s detention and interrogation program following the September 11 attacks starts streaming on Amazon on November 29. “It’s hard to gain attention with such serious subject matter,” says Cinema Nova’s Natalie Miller, who described the weekend business overall as a little slow, coinciding with the end of the VCE exams.
The top 20 titles generated $10.5 million, a 2 per cent uptick on the previous frame, with minimal contributions from two other alternate content releases, One Piece:Stampede and INXS: Live Baby Live at Wembley Stadium.
Starring Christian Bale as English racing driver Ken Miles and Matt Damon as his ally, US automotive designer Carroll Shelby in the race against Ferrari, Ford v Ferrari drummed up $2.58 million on 468 screens for Disney.
That star power proved even stronger in the US as the critically lauded film bagged $31.5 million, which suggest a final total of around $120 million.
Elizabeth Banks seemed a good bet to revive the Charlie’s Angels franchise after directing Pitch Perfect 2, which hauled in $287 million worldwide. But that kind of figure is a pipe dream now for the reboot starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, which fetched $1.68 million on 390 screens and nearly $1.9 million with previews.
True, that was more respectable than the $8.6 million US debut for the $48 million-budgeted production which some critics slammed as a concept in search of a movie. “Charlie’s Angels does seem to appeal more to younger women with less action and more repartee and pop culture references than its predecessors,” says Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell.
“It definitely did better here than the US pro-rata but we found it very patchy across sites, with some places doing much better than others depending on their demographics.”
Universal’s Last Christmas ranked third, easing by 26 per cent to $1.6 million in its second weekend. The Paul Feig-directed romantic comedy starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson has banked $4.6 million here and a soft $22.6 million in the US.
An expensive dud for Fox, domestic distributor Paramount, Skydance and China’s Tencent, the $185 million-budgeted Terminator: Dark Fate reached $7.4 million after collecting $837,000 in its third outing for Disney.
The Tim Miller-directed sequel to Judgment Day has mustered a lousy $56.8 million in the US and $176.8 million in the rest of the world.
Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ Joker ascended to $1.017 billion worldwide, the first R-rated film to reach the $1 billion milestone. Here the Todd Phillips-directed blockbuster stands at $38.5 million after adding $764,000 in its seventh frame.
There might be some upside for Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which advanced to $8.5 million after pocketing $424,000 in its fifth. The live-action spin-off of Sleeping Beauty directed by Joachim Ronning has amassed $458.9 million globally, with international’s $352.9 million dwarfing domestic’s $106 million.
WB might be having nightmares about Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, which plummeted by 52 per cent to $383,000 after its lowly opening. Mike Flanagan’s $50 million horror movie adapted from King’s 2013 novel has scraped up $1.4 million here, $25 million in the US and $53.8 million worldwide.
Universal’s Judy is hanging in, delivering $2.8 million on the back of its $220,000 fifth weekend.
Recorded on July 13 1991 in front of 74,000 fans, INXS: Live Baby Live at Wembley Stadium rang up $195,000 at 168 locations for Piece of Magic Entertainment.
One Piece: Stampede, a Japanese animated fantasy action adventure directed by Takashi Otsuka, which sees pirates all over the world hunting for lost treasure, drew $113,000 on 39 screens.