Thursday, May 30, 2024

Box Office: Star Power Matters as Matt Damon, Christian Bale Steer “Ford v. Ferrari” Number 1 at the Finish Line


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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