It’s a slow start for Universal/Apple’s spy film “Argylle,” which opened in 3,100 theaters on Thursday night and grossed $1.7 million at the box office.
That’s half of the $3.4 million that director Matthew Vaughn’s 2017 film “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” earned before going on to post a $39 million opening weekend. “Argylle” is currently projected for an opening weekend of around $18 million.
That will be enough to make “Argylle” the No. 1 film at the box office, but certainly would qualify it to be a bust were Universal footing the production budget for it.
Instead, the legacy studio is merely a distribution partner for Apple, which has begun a strategy of spending big with its tech revenue reserves on auteur-driven films like Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” and working with studios to release them in theaters in order to raise interest in seeing them on Apple TV+, which Apple does not disclose paid subscriber numbers for.
But “Argylle” won’t do much to mitigate the slump that the box office has fallen into over the past two weeks with no wide releases to boost business, causing last weekend’s overall grosses to sink to $55 million. Barring surprisingly strong audience scores, legs on the film will likely be short as reviews have been negative with a 34% Rotten Tomatoes score.
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