Fox’s Future Under Disney May Hinge on ‘Ford vs. Ferrari’

“Disney will definitely be more selective than Fox once was,” MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler says

While much of the box office conversation this fall will be around Disney’s push to cross $10 billion in annual domestic grosses, the studio also will release a film that will not rank high on the charts but will mark a major moment in its new ownership of 20th Century Fox’s film and TV assets.

James Mangold’s “Ford vs. Ferrari,” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale as a real-life racecar designer and driver who led Ford’s challenge to Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, will be the test of how adult dramas even with big stars fit into a modern Disney slate dominated by superheroes and familiar characters.

The film, released this November after a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, is the sort of film that Fox and its indie wing Fox Searchlight regularly put out prior to being acquired by Disney, with adult dramas like “Hidden Figures”and avant-garde Searchlight acquisitions like “Black Swan” among the films that have earned financial and awards success.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com