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Matthew Vaughn, Apple 'Argylle' Misfires With $18M U.S. Box Office Debut

Agent Argylle's mission hit a major roadblock at the box office. The highly anticipated globe-trotting spy comedy, Matthew Vaughn's "Argylle" misfires with $18M US debut from 3,605 theaters across North America.

James K.
Feb 05, 20241891 Shares27020 Views
Agent Argylle's mission hit a major roadblock at the box office. The highly anticipated globe-trotting spy comedy, Matthew Vaughn's "Argylle" misfires with $18M US debutfrom 3,605 theaters across North America. Despite being backed by tech giant Apple and distributed by Universal, the film, with a hefty $200 million production cost, is rapidly becoming the year's first significant disappointment.
Adding to the intrigue is Apple's unique position as a tech giant venturing into the entertainment industry. With streaming as its primary focus, Apple's theatrical endeavors face a distinctive set of expectations.
In a scenario where traditional Hollywood studios launched a $200 million production with such lackluster results, criticism would be swift and severe. Agent Argylle's struggle at the box office underscores the challenges faced by tech-centric companies entering the cinematic arena.

Matthew Vaughn, Apple's Big-Budget 'Argylle' Box Office Flops

Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa on Argylle
Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa on Argylle
In a resounding blow to Apple's foray into theatrical releases, Matthew Vaughn's high-profile spy comedy, "Argylle," proved to be a major misstep at the North American box office. The film, carrying a hefty production budget ranging between $200 million to $250 million, only managed to pull in an estimated $18 million from 3,605 cinemas in its opening weekend.
The disappointment extended beyond North American borders, with "Argylle" accumulating an estimated $17.3 million from 78 international markets, resulting in a global start of $35.3 million. Despite its lackluster performance, the film clinched the top spot for the weekend, benefitting from limited competition and providing exhibitors with a much-needed event film amid a scarcity of blockbuster releases caused by production delays from industry strikes.
Universal, handling distribution and marketing on behalf of Apple Original Films in exchange for a distribution fee, finds itself grappling with the aftermath of "Argylle's" lackluster reception. The unique situation of Apple, primarily a tech giant with streaming as its content priority, adds a layer of complexity to evaluating the film's box office performance. If traditional Hollywood studios had produced a $200 million movie with comparable results, they would undoubtedly face severe criticism.
Directed by Jason Fuchs, known for his work on "Wonder Woman," "Argylle" weaves the tale of a bestselling spy novelist whose quiet life takes an unexpected turn when the plots of her books come to life. The star-studded cast, featuring Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, and others, couldn't salvage the film's lackluster debut.
"Argylle" marks Apple's third attempt at a traditional theatrical release, following Martin Scorsese's "Killers of The Flower Moon" and Ridley Scott's "Napoleon," both with production budgets exceeding $200 million. While Scorsese's film garnered critical acclaim with 10 Oscar nominations, its box office performance fell short of expectations at $157.6 million globally. "Napoleon" fared relatively better with $219.4 million to date, earning three Oscar nominations.
In contrast to "Argylle," the faith-based series "The Chosen: Season 4, Episodes 1-3" secured the second spot at the domestic box office, surpassing expectations with an estimated $6.1 million from 2,260 theaters over the weekend.
Meanwhile, "The Beekeeper" from Amazon MGM Studios and Miramax continued to buzz in its fourth weekend, grossing $5.3 million domestically and achieving a global tally of $122.5 million. Warner Bros.' "Wonka" crossed the $200 million mark domestically, and Paramount's "Mean Girls" danced past $90 million, signaling continued success for the musical genre.
At the specialty box office, Oscar-nominated films "American Fiction" (Amazon MGM Studios) and "Poor Things" (Searchlight) maintained their positions in the top 10, with the former earning $2.3 million and the latter securing $2.1 million in the latest weekend. "Poor Things" has now surpassed $68.3 million globally, boasting the best domestic showing for a 2023 platform release.


In a significant setback for Apple's cinematic aspirations, Matthew Vaughn's high-budget spy-comedy, "Argylle," faced a resounding rejection from both critics and audiences at the North American box office.
With an estimated opening of $18 million against a staggering production cost ranging from $200 million to $250 million, the film struggled to find traction overseas as well, generating only $17.3 million from 78 markets. Despite these lackluster figures, the silver lining for "Argylle" was its weekend victory, attributed to a fortuitous lack of formidable competition.
As Apple grapples with this substantial box office disappointment, the industry is left pondering the intricate dynamics at play when a tech giant ventures into traditional theatrical releases.
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