Star power still matters, especially at the race track.
James Mangold’s “Ford v. Ferrari” is number 1 this morning, heading to a $30 million weekend.
The stars, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, paid off. So did exciting race scenes of the 1966 Le Mans race. Damon plays Carroll Shelby, Ford’s legendary designer. Bale is his eccentric driver, Kenny Miles. The pair make for a great on screen relationship. It’s all chemistry.
For Fox, now part of Disney, this success matters a lot. Disney itself couldn’t have pulled off a movie like this. But the two studios together are gassed and ready to go.
Bale is headed to a Best Supporting Actor nomination. The movie should be a Best Picture nominee. Damon — who’s very good– may have to settle for other accolades. I just the studio doesn’t put Bale in the lead category. It’s already quite full with the Joker himself, Joaquin Phoenix, plus Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Adam Driver, and Jonathan Pryce.
Meantime, Warner Bros. can celebrate “Joker” crossing $1 billion worldwide. For an R rated movie, it’s unheard of, and they now hold the record in that category.