Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller “Argylle” emerged victorious over newcomer “Lisa Frankenstein” in a moribund box office with both films struggling to show signs of life.

“Argylle” claimed the No. 1 spot again with $6.5 million from 3,605 North American venues, marking a steep 62% decline from its disappointing debut. After two weeks of release, Apple’s big-budget caper has generated $28.8 million at the domestic box office. It cost $200 million to produce and stands as the year’s first big bomb. 

Horror-comedy “Lisa Frankenstein” cratered in second place with $3.8 million from 3,144 venues — a terrible start for any movie in wide release. However, Focus Features only spent $13 million to make the film, which may cushion box office shortcomings.

That’s a relief for the studio because neither critics nor audiences responded to the movie, which holds a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and “B” on CinemaScore. “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody wrote “Lisa Frankenstein,” which was directed by Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin Williams) in her feature debut. The PG-13 love story follows a misunderstood teenager (Kathryn Newton) whose high school crush (Cole Sprouse) happens to be a corpse.

Super Bowl weekend, which hosts the biggest TV event of the year, usually marks a slow time for moviegoing, and this Sunday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers is no exception. Ticket sales ground to a near halt with roughly $42 million, the lowest collective haul ever for the weekend that coincides with the big game, according to Comscore. By comparison, revenues in 2023 managed to top out at $51 million, while pre-pandemic years of 2020 and 2019 were able to generate $84 million and $75 million, respectively.

“That’s extremely quiet for any weekend of the year, including Super Bowl weekend,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “‘Dune 2’ cannot come fast enough.”

Although the year is young, this was also the lowest-grossing weekend of 2024. As a sign of the complete lack of box office competition, David Ayer’s action thriller “The Beekeeper” remained in the top three for the fifth consecutive weekend, while Timothee Chalamet’s “Wonka” stayed in the top four for the ninth weekend in a row.

“The Beekeeper” landed in third place with $3.46 million from 3,057 venues, bringing its North American tally to $54.7 million. The Amazon MGM film has earned $79.2 million at the international box office for a decent global tally of $133.8 million.

“Wonka” added $3.1 million from 2,764 venues, boosting its domestic tally to $205 million. The Warner Bros. film, which cost $125 million, has grossed more than $575 million worldwide.

Universal and Illumination’s animated comedy “Migration” took the fifth spot with $3.02 million from 2,684 theaters this weekend. The family film has grossed $110 million in North America and $104 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $226 million.

More to come…

Rebecca Rubin

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