Weekend Box Office: Argylle fails to launch a franchise for Apple with $18 million opening

While it opened moderately better than expected, Argylle had a pretty bad opening, killing the franchise’s potential.

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Weekend Box office

The numbers are in, and while, they’re less dire than we were predicting; in the end, Argylle had a disastrous opening for Apple Films/ Universal. It ended up rallying to about $18 million, higher than the $16.5 million Deadline predicted yesterday. However, it’s still a poor opening for a movie with a $200 million price tag. Vaughn had been open about combining this franchise with the Kingsman films to launch a super spy multiverse, but it looks like the franchise is DOA before it even starts.

While the fact that Argylle was designed as a streaming film may have some saying the box office result doesn’t matter, the more concerning part is the C+ Cinemascore, which suggests audiences thoroughly disliked this caper. Part of the negative reaction might be the bait-and-switch advertising campaign, with it marketed as a Henry Cavill/ John Cena/ Duo Lipa-led spy romp, but in reality, none of those stars has a substantial role. Instead, the movie focuses on Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell’s characters, which I found refreshing (it seems audiences don’t agree with me).

Whatever the case, neither Universal nor Apple can be too happy with this opening, and some are thinking the result may change their commitment to big-screen theatrical runs.

In better news for big-screen action fare, Amazon/MGM’s modestly budgeted Jason Statham flick, The Beekeeper (which we loved), continues its better-than-expected box office run. It came in third this weekend with $5.2 million, dipping only a modest 21% in its 4th week at the box office. It was just edged out by the big-screen release of the Christian show The Chosen, which made over $6 million. The Beekeeper is now closing in on $50 million, with a $60-70 million end in sight, even though the film is already available for rental on digital platforms. What’s the lesson here? If you make a legitimately good film, word of mouth can propel it to a solid finish, with it seeming likely this will get a sequel.

Another movie benefitting from good word-of-mouth is Wonka. The Timothee Chalamet-led prequel earned $4.7 million this weekend, which was good enough for a fourth-place finish, pushing it past the $200 million mark. This wound up being the biggest hit of the holiday season.

Illuminations’ Migration has also done relatively well, passing $106 million at the domestic box office with a $4.2 million finish. While it’ll end its run on the lower end for Illumination in terms of box office gross, word-of-mouth must have been good for it to last so long on the charts.

Mean Girls

Finally, the Mean Girls musical came in at number 6, with a $3.85 million finish and a $66 million running total. While it will still end its run under the $86 million total of the original film, it still performed exceptionally well at the box office and should do even better when it hits streaming.

Lower on the top 10, the holiday romcom Anyone But You has overcome terrible reviews (including ours) to have a running total of $76 million, with a seventh-place finish of $3.27 million. Award hopefuls American Fiction and Poor Things have seen award season boosts, earning around $2.1 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom comes close to ending its run with a 10th-place finish at $1.8 million and a finish of $120 million – which is a disaster for a superhero film.

Next weekend sees the release of the horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein, which seems on track to have a modest opening. Likely, the box office won’t bounce back until Valentine’s Day when the Bob Marley biopic, One Love and Sony’s Madame Web open. Even still, the year’s first blockbuster likely won’t come until March when Dune Part 2 opens.

1 Argylle $18 M $18 M
2 The Chosen $6.03 M $7.5 M
3 The Beekeeper $5.2 M $49.3 M
4 Wonka $4.7 M $201 M
5 Migration $4.1 M $106 M
6 Mean Girls $4 M $66.4 M
7 Anyone But You $3.5 M $76.3 M
8 American Fiction $2.3 M $15 M
9 Poor Things $2.1 M $28.1 M
10 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom $2.01 M $120.8 M

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.