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Box Office: Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle Fails To Make An Impact Despite Weak Market

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks since there were any significant studio releases in movie theaters, something that’s allowed many holiday releases to hold onto their spots in the Top 10 for months.

That changed this weekend with the release of Matthew Vaughn‘s spy action-thriller, Argylle, by Apple Studios and Universal Pictures, into 3,605 theaters, giving it a clear path to opening in first place. With an all-star cast that included Sam RockwellBryce Dallas HowardBryan CranstonCatherine O’HaraHenry CavillSamuel L. JacksonAriana DeBoseJohn Cena, and even pop singer, Dua Lipa, the trailers for the movie had been in front of every movie going back many months, and the cast was out doing the talk show rounds over the past two weeks.

Unfortunately, the critics just weren’t that interested in the true identity of Agent Argylle, giving the movie a horrible 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – Above the Line‘s B+ review felt otherwise – and that paved the way for a weaker-than-expected opening. After making $1.7 million in Thursday and earlier previews, Argylle made $6.5 million on Friday and ended up with an estimated $18 million over the three-day weekend. Audiences didn’t think much of the movie, based on the “C+” score on CinemaScore, which points to not-great word-of-mouth for the ensemble comedy.

Overseas, Argylle  didn’t do much better, opening with $17.3 million in 78 territories for a global opening of $35.3 million. The UK & Ireland was the top market where the movie opened with $2.6 million, but that was in second place behind Universal’s Migration. It was #1 in Australia with $1.6 million, #1 in France with $1.5 million, and #1 in Mexico with $1.3 million. Even so, that was not the international blockbuster that Apple may have hoped when it shelled out $200 million for it to Vaughn, who self-produced it through his MARV production company.

Angel Studios first broke onto the scene with the theatrical release of the first two episodes from Season 3 of the biblical drama series, The Chosen. For Season 4, it tripled down by deciding to release eight episodes over the course of the month of February. On Thursday, it released the first three episodes of Season 3 into 2,263 theaters, where it brought in $1.4 million, and then, over the weekend, it added another $6 million to take second place. It grossed $7.4 million in its first four days, compared to the $8.8 million opening for Season 3 in Nov. 2022. The next three episodes will be released theatrically starting on Feb. 15.

Although there was a bit of shenanigans with box office reporting last weekend, it was much clearer this weekend that The Beekeeper, starring Jason Statham – who ironically, made his acting debut in the Matthew Vaughn-produced Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels way back in 1998 – would take third place behind the new movies. It made $5.3 million this weekend, down 21%, to bring its domestic total to $49.4 million.

Warner Bros‘ musical prequel, Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, crossed the $200 million mark domestically this weekend with another $4.8 million (down 16%) to take fourth place with $201.1 million grossed just in North America. (Note that it’s the only movie since July’s #Barbenheimer to make more than $200 million at the domestic box office, further proof of how poorly the box office has been doing since last year.) It’s also one of the bigger global hits of the holidays, having grossed $571.7 million globally, including another $10.4 million overseas. $5.6 million of that amount came from its debut in South Korea this past weekend.

Fifth place was going to be close between the animated Migration with $4.1 million and the Paramount Pictures musical Mean Girls with an estimated $4 million, but as of now, Migration is ahead with $106.2 million grossed in North America. Mean Girls has grossed $66.4 million but with a 42% drop-off (the largest in the top 10), it probably won’t make it to $100 million even if it has another week or two in the top 10.

The Sony Pictures rom-com Anyone But You, starring Sydney Sweeney and Glenn Powell, fell to seventh place with an estimated $3.5 million, but its $76.3 million domestic take is matched by a similar amount overseas for a global total of $151.8 million, making it quite a profitable success for Sony.

Cord Jefferson‘s American Fiction, starring recent Oscar nominee, Jeffrey Wright, added 200 more theaters and moved into eighth place with $2.3 million to bring its domestic total to $15 million.

With 11 Oscar nominations, Yorgos LanthimosPoor Things, starring Emma Stone, lost a few hundred theaters, but still took ninth place with $2.1 million to bring its total to $28.2 million. Overseas, it added another $8.5 million to bring its global total to $68.3 million.

Jonathan Glazer‘s own Oscar-nominated The Zone of Interest added another 277 theaters this weekend to allow it to make another $1 million for 13th place with $4.6 million grossed so far.

The MUBI release of Molly Manning Walker‘s BAFTA-nominated festival favorite, How to Have Sex, into four theaters in New York and L.A., brought in $52,000, averaging $13,000 per theater.

Weekend Box Office

Rank Entry Distributor Revenue Theater Count Total Revenue
1 Argylle Universal $17,473,540 3,605 $17,473,540
2 The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 1-3 Fathom Events $5,941,114 2,281 $7,375,331
3 The Beekeeper MGM $5,282,175 3,277 $49,424,551
4 Wonka Warner Bros. $4,678,475 2,901 $201,034,847
5 Migration Universal $4,192,455 2,830 $106,261,740
6 Mean Girls Paramount Pictures $3,835,600 3,107 $66,226,638
7 Anyone But You Sony Pictures $3,451,520 2,619 $76,233,174
8 American Fiction MGM $2,397,754 1,902 $15,109,259
9 Poor Things Searchlight Pictures $2,156,208 1,950 $28,212,431
10 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Warner Bros. $1,964,184 1,742 $120,737,803

Data provided by The Numbers, powered by OpusData

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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