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Box Office: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ Racing to $29 Million as ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Stalls

Dave McNary

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“Ford v Ferrari” is racing to a better-than-expected launch of $29 million in North America, early estimates showed on Friday.

That’s well above pre-release forecasts for “Ford v Ferrari,” which had originally been in the $20 million range. Disney has since upped its estimate to $25 million to $29 million.

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Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels” reboot is tracking for a disappointing second-place finish at around $9 million, below forecasts in the $12 million to $13 million range.

Lionsgate’s second weekend of World War II actioner “Midway” will probably wind up in third place at about $8 million, followed by the second weekends of “Playing With Fire” and “Last Christmas.” Warner Bros.’ launch of “The Good Liar” will follow in the $4 million to $5 million range, competing with the seventh session of the mega-hit “Joker.”

On Friday, “Joker” became the first R-rated movie in history to earn $1 billion at the global box office. The North American number has topped $316 million. The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has become the salvation of domestic moviegoing this fall, with overall business for 2019 trailing 2018 by 6%.

That gap will widen this weekend as total receipts will be dwarfed by the same weekend last year, when “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” opened with $62 million and “The Grinch” launched with $38.5 million.

“Ford v Ferrari” had already been expected to win the weekend handily at 3,528 venues in North America. The Disney-Fox film follows a team of American engineers and designers, led by Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), building a new vehicle to defeat the dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans world championship in France.

“Ford v Ferrari,” directed by James Mangold and produced by Chernin Entertainment, has generated 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which has a $100 million price tag, also opens in most major international territories. Oscar buzz for Damon and Bale could also lead to a long life in multiplexes.

“Charlie’s Angels” stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. Elizabeth Banks is directing and starring as their boss, Bosley. Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou play the other two Bosleys. Reviews have been mixed, earning the film a 60% Rotten Tomatoes score. “Charlie’s Angels” carries a $48 million price tag.

The first “Charlie’s Angels,” starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, opened to $40.1 million in 2000. The 2003 sequel, “Full Throttle,” launched with $37.6 million. The movies are based on the television series that ran for five seasons between 1976 and 1981.

The Good Liar” is expecting a muted $5 million debut from 2,439 screens for Warner Bros. Ian McKellen stars as a con artist who plots to steal the fortune of a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren) he meets online. Bill Condon directed the movie, based on Nicholas Searle’s novel.

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