Apple-Backed ‘Argylle’ Stumbles at Box Office, Cost $200M to Make

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Apple’s jump into blockbuster filmmaking hit a snag as “Argylle,” a high-budget spy comedy, garnered just $18 million US in its opening weekend across North American theatres, reports Variety.

Despite the star-studded cast and a production budget of a whopping $200 million US, the film directed by Matthew Vaughn and distributed by Universal, failed to live up to expectations, underperforming in its opening weekend.

“Argylle” holds a disappointing 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “C+” grade on CinemaScore. Nonetheless, it managed to secure the top spot in both domestic and global box office rankings, with its worldwide earnings totalling $35.3 million US, including $17.3 million from international markets.

The movie’s plot revolves around Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, a reclusive author whose espionage novels begin to reflect real-world spy activities. The cast also includes notable names such as Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, and Samuel L. Jackson. There’s a huge star-studded cast. Despite Vaughn’s aspirations to develop “Argylle” into a trilogy, the film’s poor box office performance casts doubt on future installments.

“Argylle” is Apple’s third major motion picture investment, following the releases of “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Napoleon,” which also opened to modest figures. Given the high break-even point of approximately $500 million US in global ticket sales at a regular studio, the future profitability of “Argylle” remains uncertain.

The film’s top box office position can be attributed to a lack of new competition, with “The Beekeeper,” “Wonka,” and other movies filling the remaining top slots. Apple has a boatload of cash but has yet to crack the code in backing a major hit. Apple TV+ continues to focus on quality over quantity.

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