‘Argylle’ Stays No. 1 as Box Office Falls to Worst Weekend in 14 Months

Stuck between a lack of hit films and the annual drain brought by the Super Bowl, the U.S. box office has fallen to its worst weekend in 14 months as Universal/Apple’s “Argylle” needed only $6.5 million to stay at No. 1 on the charts.

Industry estimates have overall totals for the weekend sinking to $42 million, down 33% from last weekend and down 20% from the $52.6 million recorded during last year’s Super Bowl weekend.

To find a lower overall weekend figure, one must go back to the $33.2 million earned on the weekend of Dec. 9, 2022, the weekend before “Avatar: The Way of Water” was released and began its $2.3 billion global theatrical run.

“Argylle,” meanwhile, fell 63% from its already poor $17.4 million opening weekend, bringing it to a 10-day domestic total of $28.8 million. By comparison, Apple’s first big theatrical release, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” had a 10-day total of just under $41 million.

In second place on the charts is the sole newcomer this weekend, Focus Features’ “Lisa Frankenstein.” Zelda Williams’ feature directorial debut horror comedy was sent in to 3,144 theaters as possible counterprogramming for younger women and horror fans uninterested in the Super Bowl and had been projected for a $6 million start, but is falling below that to a $3.8 million launch.

The good news for Focus is that “Lisa Frankenstein” carries a low reported budget of $13 million, but reception isn’t particularly strong. Rotten Tomatoes scores stand at 50% critics and 77% audience, while CinemaScore polls returned a B.

Among holdovers, Amazon MGM’s “The Beekeeper” is in third with $3.4 million and a decent $54.6 million total after five weekends. Warner Bros.’ “Wonka,” through a mix of its strong holiday word-of-mouth and lack of competition, stays in the top 5 in its ninth weekend with $3.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $205 million, the highest for any film since August.

“Wonka” stands in a virtual tie for the No. 4 spot with Fathom Events/Angel Studios’ “The Chosen: Season 4” completes the top 5, adding $3.1 million from 1,955 theaters. The screenings of three new episodes of the hit indie Christian series have now grossed $12.5 million in theaters.

Finally, Disney released Pixar’s “Turning Red” in theaters nearly two years after debuting it as a streaming exclusive, grossing just $535,000 from 1,560 theaters. The critically acclaimed animated film was moved from theatrical to Disney+ in 2022 as part of efforts by then-CEO Bob Chapek to prioritize streaming, a strategy that returning CEO Bob Iger has backed away from amid larger efforts to make Disney+ profitable by cutting costs while focusing its franchise efforts primarily on theatrically released sequels like the newly announced “Moana 2.”

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