LOS ANGELES, Feb 12 — Universal’s wacky spy thriller Argylle held on to the top spot in North American theatres on a molasses-slow movie weekend overshadowed by pro football’s Super Bowl championship game.

Argylle took in just an estimated US$6.5 million (RM31 million) for the Friday-through-Sunday period, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported — and that despite a cast including Dua Lipa, Henry Cavill, John Cena and Ariana DeBose, with Bryce Dallas Howard as a spy novelist who gets in over her head.

Given the Apple co-production’s budget of US$200 million — and its sharp drop from an US$18 million opening weekend — Variety has declared it “the year’s first big bomb.”

Lisa Frankenstein, a new release from Focus Features, earned US$3.8 million to claim the second spot. Analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research called that a “weak opening”.

Despite its elements of romance and horror — and humour in a script from Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody — “it’s not connecting”, Gross added. Still, with a budget of just US$13 million, Lisa should turn a profit, he said.

MGM action flick The Beekeeper, starring Jason Statham, stayed steady in third place, taking in US$3.5 million.

In fourth spot was Fathom Events’ The Chosen: S4 EP 1-3, about the life of Jesus Christ. It earned US$3.2 million.

And in fifth, Warner Bros.’ fantasy musical Wonka kept up its long top-five streak, making US$3.1 million in its ninth week of release. Timothee Chalamet stars as the eccentric chocolate maker.

Analytics company Comscore said total ticket sales for the weekend were at a near all-time low for a Super Bowl weekend, at roughly just $US42 million.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

Migration (US$3 million)

Anyone But You (US$2.7 million)

Mean Girls (US$1.9 million)

Dune: Part One (a re-issue) (US$1.8 million)

American Fiction (US$1.3 million) — AFP