‘Argylle’ sees big drop but still tops N.America box office


Universal’s wacky spy thriller “Argylle” held on to the top spot in North American theaters on a molasses-slow movie weekend overshadowed by pro football’s Super Bowl championship game.

“Argylle” took in just an estimated $6.5 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported — and that despite a cast including Dua Lipa, Henry Cavill, John Cena and Ariana DeBose, with Bryce Dallas Howard as a spy novelist who gets in over her head.

Given the Apple co-production’s budget of $200 million — and its sharp drop from an $18 million opening weekend — Variety has declared it “the year’s first big bomb.”

“Lisa Frankenstein,” a new release from Focus Features, earned $3.8 million to claim the second spot. Analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research called that a “weak opening.”

Despite its elements of romance and horror — and humor in a script from “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody — “it’s not connecting,” Gross added. Still, with a budget of just $13 million, “Lisa” should turn a profit, he said.

MGM action flick “The Beekeeper,” starring Jason Statham, stayed steady in third place, taking in $3.5 million.

In fourth spot was Fathom Events’ “The Chosen: S4 EP 1-3,” about the life of Jesus Christ. It earned $3.2 million.

And in fifth, Warner Bros.’ fantasy musical “Wonka” kept up its long top-five streak, making $3.1 million in its ninth week of release. Timothee Chalamet stars as the eccentric chocolate maker.

Analytics company Comscore said total ticket sales for the weekend were at a near all-time low for a Super Bowl weekend, at roughly just $42 million.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Migration” ($3 million)

“Anyone But You” ($2.7 million)

“Mean Girls” ($1.9 million)

“Dune: Part One” (a re-issue) ($1.8 million)

“American Fiction” ($1.3 million) 

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