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'Ford v. Ferrari' roars to front of N. American box office


Los Angeles (AFP)

"Ford v. Ferrari" roared to the front in North American box offices on an overall slow weekend, taking in $31.5 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday.

The new Fox release starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale portrays how a team at Ford built a car to challenge Ferrari's longtime dominance of France's classic 24-hour Le Mans race in 1966.

Shot for around $100 million largely without computer-generated special effects, the film garnered a rare A+ CinemaScore from viewers, the highest among new nationwide offerings.

In second was Lionsgate's war movie "Midway," with $8.5 million in Friday-to-Sunday ticket sales.

The film looks at the pivotal naval battle between US and Japanese forces in the Pacific in June 1942.

A new chapter in the "Charlie's Angels" saga opened in third place, taking in what analysts called a disappointing $8.4 million.

The Angels' last big-screen film, in 2003, debuted to a far more impressive $37 million.

Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska star as the trio of glamorous spies.

Paramount's comedy "Playing With Fire" placed fourth at $8.3 million. John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key and John Leguizamo portray a crew of tough firefighters who rescue three unruly siblings and end up having to babysit them.

Fifth place went to Universal's early-arriving romantic comedy "Last Christmas," at $6.5 million. Emilia Clarke plays Kate, who is unhappy in her job as a department store elf until she meets handsome Tom (Henry Golding), who seems -- perhaps is? -- too good to be true.

Overall, it was a strikingly anemic weekend at the box office, which was down 40 percent from the same weekend last year, Exhibitor Relations said.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Doctor Sleep" ($6 million)

"The Good Liar" ($5.6 million)

"Joker" ($5.3 million)

"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" ($4.9 million)

"Harriet" ($4.6 million)

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