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Weekend Box Office: Ford V Ferrari laps the competition

Photo: Merrick Morton (20th Century Fox)

All eyes were on three major releases this weekend, only two of which having a serious shot at the top spot (because let’s face it: A box office win for The Good Liar would have been a supremely interesting upset, but an upset nonetheless). In the end, it was, as Jesse Hassenger put it in his review for The A.V. Club, “a star-studded 150-minute period drama about racecars and the men who design them” that filled the most seats. James Mangold’s Ford V. Ferrari sped straight to the top in its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $31 million and the weekend’s second largest theater presence with 3,528 screens. Earnings-wise, it was truly in a lane of its own: The second-place Midway fell way behind, only bringing in $8.8 million.

While it may have been an auspicious weekend for auto enthusiasts, a second reboot of a classic franchise didn’t see quite the same success. Despite a reportedly fun performance from Kristen Stewart and a high-profile soundtrack produced by Ariana Grande, Elizabeth Bank’s Charlie’s Angels couldn’t quite accomplish its mission, coming in third with a disappointing domestic haul of $8.6 million and a $27.9 million global gross. While many can speculate as to what caused a film equipped with major brand recognition to tank—an ill-fated “fresh face” approach to casting, little public interest in an older property, not-so-great marketing—the ultimate death knell could just be the lackluster execution itself. Let AVC’s Katie Rife tell it: “As a result, both the comedy and the action are only intermittently effective, the latter further hampered by sloppy editing (both visual and auditory) and bad CGI explosions. The overall look of the film has the shiny, empty appearance of a newly rehabbed condo, and the quips about women’s love of cheese and gigantic closets have a similarly hollow sassy-greeting-card feel.” This is just not the time for vintage IPs. Just ask Terminator: Dark Fate, which has already dropped out of the top 10 in its third week after bringing in only $4.4 million.

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Slipping to fourth place is Paramount’s John Cena-led kiddie romp Playing With Fire, which brought in an estimated $8.6 million in its second week and currently leads the effort in family-friendly counterprogramming. Holiday rom-com Last Christmas rounds out the top five in its second week as audiences gift Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding an additional $6.7 million. The Good Liar, starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, just couldn’t finesse its way into a spot higher than seventh place, raking in a paltry $5.7 million across 2,439 screens.

And this would not be a modern-day Weekend Box Office update without, at minimum, a nugget of Joker (eighth place, $5.6 million) news, so here it is: The highly favored murder-clown is now a billionaire as the film become the first R-rated effort to make a $1 billion in global box office earnings. It already became the most profitable comic book film of all time earlier in the month, per BBC. Are there any more records for it to break at this point?

Before the heightened stress of Thanksgiving prep really hits, this weekend offers up Frozen 2, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, and the Chadwick Boseman-led 21 Bridges.

For more detailed analysis of this weekend’s box office, check out Box Office Mojo.

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