Apple’s Argylle Marks Modest Debut with $18M Amid High Expectations

Apple's Argylle Marks Modest Debut with $18M Amid High Expectations

Apple Studios has encountered a surprising setback in the high-stakes world of movie releases. Despite a lineup of high-profile projects and notable successes, their latest venture, “Argylle,” has not met the financial expectations set by its hefty $200 million production cost.

The star-studded spy thriller, featuring notable names such as Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa, premiered to a modest $18 million in ticket sales. While leading the weekend box office, this figure signals a lukewarm reception from audiences and marks Apple’s inaugural box office disappointment.

A Mixed Bag of Success and Setbacks

Apple’s journey in the film industry, notably since 2019, has been marked by significant achievements and ambitious undertakings. The tech giant transitioned into original filmmaking and even clinched an Oscar for Best Picture with “CODA” in 2021.

This success was followed by high-budget films like Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon.” While these films didn’t break even, they were critical darlings with “Killers of the Flower Moon” garnering $156 million globally and “Napoleon” $219 million. They elevated Apple’s stature, aligning the brand with prestigious filmmaking and celebrated directors.

However, “Argylle” seems to diverge from this trajectory. The film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, is a blend of high stakes and intense drama, featuring a cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell alongside Cavill. Yet, despite its promising premise and star power, the movie received tepid reviews, reflected in its low Rotten Tomatoes rating of 35% and a disappointing C CinemaScore from audiences.

Marketing Moves and Global Outreach

Apple’s strategy for rolling out its big-budget films involved collaborations with traditional movie studios. For “Argylle,” Universal Pictures managed the North American release across 3,605 venues, while also handling international screenings in 78 markets, bringing in an additional $17.3 million. The marketing for the film sparked curiosity, particularly with speculations about Taylor Swift’s involvement, fueled by the movie’s promotional materials. Despite these efforts and considerable online buzz, the film’s reception remained underwhelming.

Box Office Dynamics

While “Argylle” topped the charts, the weekend box office was quiet. The Christian drama series “The Chosen” claimed second place, with the first three episodes of its fourth season earning $6 million.

The cinematic landscape was dotted with various films, from long-running hits like Warner Bros.’ “Wonka” to new contenders like “The Beekeeper” from Amazon MGM. The box office also saw a steady presence of Oscar contenders, with films like “American Fiction” and “Poor Things” attracting audiences, showcasing the diverse range of cinematic experiences available to viewers.


In the ever-evolving and unpredictable realm of movie releases, “Argylle” stands as a testament to the complexities of audience reception and the challenges of high-budget filmmaking. Despite Apple’s calculated approach and the film’s star-studded cast, the box office numbers narrate a story of unmet expectations and the harsh realities of the film industry.

As the final figures roll in and the industry reflects on this unexpected outcome, “Argylle” serves as a reminder of the intricate dance between creativity, investment, and public reception in cinema.