This Star-Studded Movie Bombed Over the Weekend

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 09, 2024

The highly anticipated “Argylle” hit theaters last weekend, yet it didn’t meet the expectations of critics and moviegoers. 

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the film brought in just under $20 million in its opening weekend and has been hailed as the first major flop of 2024. 

Spy Thriller Falls at the First Hurdle

Argylle” is a comedic spy-thriller starring big names, including Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, and Samuel L. Jackson. But, even with its cast of A-list movie stars, the film crashed at the first hurdle. 

Henry Cavill in Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

During its opening weekend, Matthew Vaughn’s comedy only brought in around $18 million from over 3,500 theaters in North America. 

Backed by Major Players in the Film Industry

The film was financed by Apple Original Films and distributed by Universal (via Forbes).

General views of the Apple Tower Theatre, outside of an Apple store in Downtown Los Angeles

Source: AaronP/Getty Images

Due to the stacked lineup and high hopes of success, the film was given a budget of around $200 million. It’s unlikely Apple will see a great return on this project.

International Market Reduces the Burn

The film did manage to increase sales through the international market. At over 78 theaters, it garnered a further $17.3 million. 

A family is pictured as they eat popcorn inside a movie theatre

Source: Freepik

In total, “Argylle” brought in over $35 million in its opening weekend. 

Ranked at No. 1 Around the World

While it certainly didn’t achieve the financial success many had hoped for, “Argylle” did reach the no. 1 spot at both the domestic and global box offices. 

Characters from Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

Yet critics argue it achieved this milestone as it was the only new film released last weekend. 

Critics Weren’t Impressed with Argylle

It appears “Argylle’s” poor performance was warranted, as critics weren’t impressed with the film overall. 

Samuel L Jackson in Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

It held at 35% on Rotten Tomatoes following its release. Meanwhile, CinemaScore gave it an average “C+.”


The Film Failed for Several Reasons

The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard as a reclusive author whose life drastically changes when she becomes entangled with a spy organization. 

Bryce Dallas Howard pictured during a visit to SiriusXM studios in New York City

Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Yet while many facets led to the flop, IMDb argues that the film’s extensive budget, “quirky premise,” and bad reviews contributed to its poor performance at the box office. 


Movie Consulting Experts Share Opinion

David A. Gross, who’s behind the movie consultant firm Franchise Entertainment Research, shared his opinion on “Argylle’s” flop. 

Bryce Dallas Howard in Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

“This is a weak opening for a new action comedy,” he said (via Variety).


Lack of Humor from the Get-Go

Gross went on to say the film appears to be lacking authentic humor.

Bryan Cranston in Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

“For an original [action comedy] to break through, the humor has to jump off the screen. That’s not happening here,” he said


Hopes of Turning Argylle into Franchise Sink

Vaughn, who was behind the well-received “The Kingsman” series, was hopeful that “Argyle” would receive several sequels. 

Catherine O'Hara in Argylle

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

Yet it appears this dream has been thwarted unless ticket sales dramatically increase. 


Argylle Reaches New Low for Apple Movies

Unfortunately for Vaughn, “Argylle’s” opening sales were inferior to Apple’s previous two films, “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Napoleon.”

Chief Standing Bear of Osage Nation, Martin Scorsese, Lily Gladstone, and Tatanka Means attend an event at the National Museum of the American Indian

Source: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon” brought in around $23 million on its opening weekend. Meanwhile, Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” debuted at $20.6 million.


Nominated for 10 Academy Awards

While “Killers of the Flower Moon” did manage to bring in over $156 million in sales, its budget of over $200 million left it reasonably short of making a profit.

Joaquin Phoenix and director of “Napoleon” Ridley Scott attend the film’s premiere in Madrid, Spain

Source: Borja B. Hojas/WireImage/Getty Images

However, the film was well-received by critics and was even nominated for 10 Academy Awards.