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Apple Original Films’ ‘Argylle’ Hopes To Tee Up February Box Office – Preview

Apple Original Films’ third movie to go wide in theaters, the $200 million, Matthew Vaughn-directed Argylle, hits cinemas this weekend via a distribution deal with Universal. A mid-teens start is expected.

As the old saying goes in distribution, “It would be nice if it had a 2 in front of it,” meaning a $20M-plus start.

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Some exhibitors are bullish that the all-star movie with Henry Cavill, John Cena, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson and more could reach that threshold, but it hits screens amid a truly downer box office atmosphere likely to last until Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two shows up March 1.

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For Argylle, a 50/50 male-female turnout is expected with slightly older women at 3,500 theaters stateside, with all Imax and PLF screen guns blazing. It also will open in 79 offshore territories including UK & Ireland, Australia, France, Germany and Mexico. It’s the first movie of studio tentpole product leading into a Valentine’s Day-President Day spread beginning February 14 when Paramount’s One Love: Bob Marley and Sony/Marvel’s Madame Web are expected to give some speed to turnstiles.

Previews in the U.S. and Canada start for the PG-13-rated Argylle on Thursday at 5 p.m.. I’m told that comps are Paramount’s Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum romantic comedy Lost City ($30.4M) as well as the first two Vaughn Kingsman movies ($36.2M and $39M), but gosh, those numbers will be too high to reach.

Somehow, Argylle feels like 2022’s The 355, which starred Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, etc, a $75M title that Universal took domestic on for $20M. However, the good news is that pre-release diagnostics on Argylle show that the feature is good enough to hook moviegoers better than 355, which opened to $4.6M during the Omnicron Covid days and legged out to $14.5M domestic.

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