‘Lisa Frankenstein’ Lands Quiet Opening Day Behind ‘Argylle’


It isn’t alive, unfortunately. “Lisa Frankenstein” is facing a quiet opening at the domestic box office after earning $1.7 million from 3,144 locations on its opening day, including $700,000 in Thursday previews. The Focus Features release will likely fall behind the second frame of Apple Studios’ “Argylle,” which crashed in its debut last weekend.

“Lisa Frankenstein” is looking at a soft debut with around $4 million over the three-day frame. It’s not a very strong start for the horror-aesthete romantic comedy, though a very modest $13 million production price tag means that Focus is facing a softened financial hit should the movie not stick around theaters. Reviews have been mixed and audiences aren’t very enthused either, as indicated by research firm Cinema Score’s “B” grade from surveying early audiences.

Diablo Cody pens “Lisa Frankenstein,” a PG-13 romance about a mad scientist teenager who decides to build her own boyfriend from a corpse. Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse star, while Zelda Williams directs.

In terms of the larger theatrical landscape, it’s looking like another quiet three days as the 2024 box office still awaits a kick into high-gear. No domestic releases are expected to gross more than $10 million. Super Bowl weekend is hardly ever a big-ticket spot on the calendar for studios, but it’s been even quieter than usual in recent times. During last year’s, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” led domestic charts with a debut of less than $10 million, while the total gross across all releases amounted to a paltry $53 million. It’s projected to fall even lower than that this year.

Universal’s release of “Argylle” will retain the top spot at the box office, even as it faces a tumble of 62% from its disappointing $17.4 million opening weekend. The reception has hardly been positive and the film’s box office legs are facing the consequences of bad buzz, even in an extremely uncompetitive marketplace. The Matthew Vaughn-directed feature might not even surpass a $30 million domestic gross over its first 10 days — a shockingly low figure considering its popular genre material, sprawling cast and the $200 million that Apple shelled out. Even though the tech giant isn’t necessarily looking to turn a profit on all its theatrical outings, it’s difficult to see this franchise nonstarter as anything but a disappointment.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros. is re-releasing Denis Villeneuve’s first “Dune” in premium large formats ahead of the sequel’s debut on March 1. The sci-fi epic added $570,000 on Friday screenings. During its original 2021 run, “Dune” scored $402 million globally, even after a simultaneous streaming debut on HBO Max in some territories.

In other Timothée Chalamet news, “Wonka” is still in the cards for a top four finish in its ninth weekend of release, while Amazon MGM’s Jason Statham actioner “The Beekeeper” and Universal’s animated adventure “Migration” are projecting roughly $3 million grosses, looking to claim a spot in the top five several weeks after their debuts. Exhibitors will have to hope that the Valentine’s Day bows of “Madame Web” and “Bob Marley: One Love” can provide a true jumpstart to business.

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