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‘Argylle’ flops with $18 million for big-budget Apple release

NEW YORK — Apple has suffered its first box office flop.

Apple Studios’ $200 million, star-studded spy thriller “Argylle” opened Sunday with $18 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the film managed to lead the weekend box office, but still did not attract much attention from moviegoers.

Although Apple has been in the original movie business since 2019, winning the Oscar for best picture for 2021’s “CODA,” the company has only recently produced its own big-budget movie franchise. The first two – Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” – can be considered successful.

Although “Killers of the Flower Moon” was not very profitable, with worldwide sales of $156 million, it became one of the most acclaimed films of 2023 and was nominated for the 10th Academy Award. “Napoleon,” released in November, grossed $219 million worldwide; This was not enough to make a profit. But both films furthered Apple’s reputation for hosting top-flight directors and prestigious filmmakers.

The same can’t be said for “Argylle,” a twisty thriller starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell and Henry Cavill. The film was poorly received by critics, giving it a 35% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ticket buyers didn’t like it either, with a C+ CinemaScore.

Apple matched traditional studios for each of these releases. Universal Pictures handled promotion of “Argylle,” which opened in 3,605 locations in North America and grossed an additional $17.3 million in 78 international markets. Paramount directed “Killers of the Flower Moon,” while Sony directed “Napoleon.”

“Argylle,” to be directed by “Kingsman” director Vaughn, was made with the desire to start a new franchise. But one of the biggest talking points before its release was the assumption that Taylor Swift might be involved in the film, due to the prominent presence of argyles and a cat in promotional materials. Despite much controversy online, Swift had no role in the film.

Second place for the weekend went to Christian drama series “The Chosen.” The first three episodes of the fourth season of the series about the life of Jesus were released in 2,263 theaters. Angel Studios’ film grossed $6 million from Friday through Sunday.

On another quiet weekend at theatres, the remainder of ticket sales went mostly to stayers and awards contenders.

Warner Bros.’ “Wonka” surpassed $200 million domestically in its eighth week. Paramount’s “Mean Girls” surpassed $100 million after four weeks in theaters. Amazon MGM’s “Beekeeper” approached $50 million in its fourth week.

Although many Oscar nominees hit theaters months ago, the top picks in theaters include Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction,” starring Jeffrey Wright and Yorgos Lanthimos ($15 million so far for MGM) and Yorgos Lanthimos’ “American Fiction,” starring Jeffrey Wright and Yorgos Lanthimos. Poor Things” ($28.2 million plus $40.1). Millions abroad), starring Emma Stone.

Estimated ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.

1. “Argylle,” $18 million.

2. “The Chosen Ones,” $6 million.

3. “The Beekeeper,” $5.3 million.

4. “Wonka,” $4.8 million.

5. “Immigration,” $4.1 million.

6. “Mean Girls,” $4 million.

7. “Everybody But You,” $3.5 million.

8. “American Fiction,” $2.3 million.

9. “Poor Things” $2.1 million.

10. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” $2 million.

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