Apple’s ‘Argylle’ Had No Competition and Was a Box-Office Flop: What Does It Take to Get a $100 Million Weekend?

Liem Soeng

Apple’s ‘Argylle’ Had No Competition and Was a Box-Office Flop: What Does It Take to Get a 0 Million Weekend?

With Apple’s reported $200 million spy comedy “Argylle” (Universal grossing only $18 million, the first February weekend totaled $63 million, down 18 percent from the same weekend in 2023.

Through five weekends this year, none have reached $100 million; three grossed under $70 million. By this time last year, two grossed over $100 million and none were less than $70 million. That creates a 13 percent deficit year to date, one that’s likely to increase.

The Super Bowl is next weekend, which often serves as the annual box-office low, but already things are about as grim for theaters since Covid. Year to date is 40 percent less than the same period in early 2020. In terms of attendance, with substantially higher ticket cost, attendance is down over 50 percent.

The top reason is weak product, including carryovers from Christmas that usually boost early-year doldrums. And even an attractive ensemble (Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dua Lipa, Adriana DeBose, John Cena) and a proven commercial director in Matthew Vaughn (the “Kingsman” series), the $200 million “Argylle” opened to $18 million.

Related Stories

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Sylvester Stallone (L) and Carl Weathers, who co-starred in the 1977 Golden Globe Award-winning film

For Apple, it must give pause around production investments; for theatrical distributor Universal, it’s a disappointment. However, as the only new wide studio release over the last two weeks, it’s disastrous for theaters.

The first three episodes of “The Chosen Season 4” (Fathom), beginning a limited two-week release added about $7.5 million to the total. (The remaining six episodes will be released in upcoming weeks.) We included Thursday’s grosses, which played at the same time as “Argylle” previews. It placed #2, with or without Thursday.

As bad as it was, “Argylle” performed slightly better than expected after a depressed opening day and a low-end C+ Cinemascore. It improved slightly on Saturday from the preview/Friday total. Everything that played this weekend was aided by the lack of alternatives.

Jason Statham in The Beekeeper
“The Beekeeper”Amazon MGM Studios

Except for #6 “Mean Girls” (Paramount), which is down 42 percent but at $66 million is currently the year’s top release, everything in the Top 10 fell less than 30 percent. That includes #3 “The Beekeeper” (MGM Amazon) off 21 percent, “Wonka” (Warner Bros.) down 16 percent (and passing $200 million domestic), and “Migration” (Universal) down 16 percent, and all are available on PVOD for home viewing.

“American Fiction” (MGM Amazon) had the best hold, adding 200 theaters (now 1,902), falling 11 percent to gross $2.3 million and a $15 million total. It placed eighth, ahead of #9 “Poor Things” (Searchlight), off 27 percent in 1,950 theaters, $2.1 million for the weekend and over $24 million so far.

Those are decent showings for both, with “The Zone of Interest” (A24) adding another $1.1 million in 594 theaters. All Oscar-nominated films, the second weekend after the nominations, grossed about $6.5 million — less than the theatrical performance of three episodes of an online TV series.

The third weekend of “Origin” (Neon) fell 52 percent ($635,000 in 631 theaters). That deflates any hope that word of mouth could salvage its disappointing performance.

How to Have Sex
“How to Have Sex”MUBI

Among new limited titles, Cannes Un Certain Regard winner “How to Have Sex” (Janus/Sideshow) was the standout. It grossed $52,000 in four theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin.

The Top 10

1. Argylle (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: C+; Metacritic: 36; Est. budget: $200 million

$18,000,000 in 3,605 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $4,993; Cumulative: $18,000,000

2. The Chosen Season 4 Episodes 1-3 (Fathom) NEW

$7,469,000 in 2,248 theaters; PTA: $3,323; Cumulative: $7,469,000

3. The Beekeeper (MGM Amazon) Week 4 – Last weekend #2; also on PVOD

$5,287,000 (-21%) in 3,277 (-60) theaters; PTA: $1,613; Cumulative: $49,429,000

4. Wonka (WB) Week 8; Last weekend #3; also on PVOD

$4,765,000 (-16%) in 2,901 (-113) theaters; PTA: $1,643; Cumulative: $201,121,000

5. Migration (Universal) Week 7; Last weekend #4; also on PVOD

$4,110,000 (-16%) in 2,830 (-140) theaters; PTA: $1,452; Cumulative: $106,017,000

6. Mean Girls (Par) Week 4 – Last weekend #1

$4,000,000 (-42%) in 2,901 (-113) theaters; PTA: $1,287; Cumulative: $66,391,000

7. Anyone but You (Sony) Week 7; Last weekend #5

$3,500,000 (-24%) in 2,619 (-266) theaters; PTA: $1,336; Cumulative: $76,282,000

8. American Fiction (Amazon MGM) Week 8; Last weekend #10

$2,302,000 (-11%) in 1,902 (+200) theaters; PTA: $1,210; Cumulative: $15,013,000

9. Poor Things (Searchlight) Week 9; Last weekend #7

$2,128,000 (-27%) in 1,950 (-350) theaters; PTA: $1,091; Cumulative: $28,184,000

10. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (WB) Week 7; Last weekend #8; also on PVOD

$2,015,000 (-26%) in 1,742 (-346) theaters; PTA: $1,157; Cumulative: $120,789,000

Other specialized and award-contending titles

Films (limited, expansions of limited, as well as awards-oriented releases) are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week; after the first three weeks, only films with grosses over $5,000 are listed. Metacritic scores and initial film festivals recorded.

Scrambled (Roadside) NEW – Metacritic: 70; Festivals include: South by Southwest 2023

$250,000 in 762 theaters; PTA: $328

How to Have Sex (MUBI) NEW – Metacritic: 78; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2023, Sundance 2024

$52,008 in theaters; PTA: $13,002

The Peasants (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2

$6,081 in 3 (+2) theaters; PTA: $2,027; Cumulative: $35,301

Totem (Janus) NEW – Week 2

$16,690 in 5 (+4) theaters; PTA: $3,338; Cumulative: $32,411

Origin (Neon) Week 3

$635,000 in 631 (-33) theaters; PTA: $1,006; Cumulative: $3,548,000

Driving Madeleine (Cohen) Week 4

$36,753 in 60 (-16) theaters; Cumulative: $240,029

Ferrari (Neon) Week 6; also on PVOD

$52,000 in 103 (-67) theaters; Cumulative: $18,472,000

The Teachers’ Lounge (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$42,019 in 35 (+6) theaters; Cumulative: $256,694

The Iron Claw (A24) Week 7

$641,665 in 634 (-292) theaters; Cumulative: $34,193,000

All of Us Strangers (Searchlight) Week 7

$253,000 in 150 (-125) theaters; Cumulative: $3,540,000

Freud’s Last Session (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$22,399 in 66 (-163) theaters; Cumulative: $827,401

The Zone of Interest (A24) Week 8

$1,109,000 in 594 (+279) theaters; Cumulative: $4,596,000

The Boy and the Heron (GKids) Week 9

$433,121 in 400 (-210) theaters; Cumulative: $44,939,000

Anselm (Janus/Sideshow) Week 9

$27,750 in 9 (no change) theaters; Cumulative: $411,773

The Holdovers (Focus) Week 15; also streaming and on VOD

$171,000 in 562 (-708) theaters; Cumulative: $19,758,000

Killers of the Flower Moon (Paramount) Week 16; also streaming and on PVOD 941

$41,000 in 286 (-655) theaters; Cumulative: $67,771,000

Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) Week 17; also on VOD

$117,000 in 220 (-160) theaters; Cumulative: $4,414,000

Oppenheimer (Universal) Week 29; also on VOD

$215,000 in 579 (-689) theaters; Cumulative: $328,744,000

VIA

Leave a Comment

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .