Universal/Apple’s “Argylle” is stumbling out of the gate at the box office, suffering weak critical and audience reception as it opens to an estimated $16.5 million from 3,605 theaters.
That’s enough to place Matthew Vaughn’s film in the No. 1 spot at the box office, but that says more about the weak state the market is in now as the rest of the top 5 are holdover titles in their fourth weekend of play or later, all grossing between $4 million and $5 million each.
The mid-teens domestic launch of “Argylle,” which includes around $17 million overseas for a $33.4 million global start, is water off the back of Universal, which is only a distribution partner for the film.
But the result is bad news for Apple, which made a deal with Universal to release “Argylle” in theaters as part of its plan to spend hundreds of millions on auteur-driven films in the hopes that it will build word-of-mouth for their Apple TV+ streaming release. Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” may not have turned a profit against its immense budget theatrically, but its critical acclaim and Oscar nominations elevated its presence on streaming earlier this month.
“Argylle” on the other hand, is getting a thumbs down from critics and audiences alike, receiving a C+ on CinemaScore and a 35% critics Rotten Tomatoes score. With the box office-draining Super Bowl next week and competition like Paramount’s “Bob Marley: One Love” coming up, “Argylle” may see steep drops in the weekends ahead.
The one other major milestone in the top 5 this weekend is Warner Bros.’ “Wonka,” which has passed the $200 million domestic mark in its eighth weekend. It is the first film since summer 2023 hits “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” to cross that mark, as the Paul King/Timothee Chalamet musical has carried the box office through an inconsistent winter.
Outside the top 5, Fathom Events and Angel Studios released the first three episodes of the fourth season of “The Chosen” in 2,200 theaters, grossing an industry estimated $3.3 million this weekend. “The Chosen” has become a major pillar of Fathom Events’ release slate, with fans of the indie Christian series regularly heading out to see new episodes together in theaters despite their presence on streaming.
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