“Mean Girls” makes box office triumph despite winter storms
Paramount’s Mean Girls has defied winter storms and cinema closures, shining in its opening weekend with a stellar $28 million in North American theatres, voanews.com reports. This adaptation of the Broadway musical and Tina Fey’s 2004 film surpassed its predecessor’s opening weekend earnings of $24.4 million.
Competing over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Mean Girls faced off against new releases like Jason Statham’s action-packed The Beekeeper and Jay-Z’s biblical satire The Book of Clarence, along with other awards contenders leveraging recent nominations and Golden Globe buzz.
Drawing parallels with the success of Barbie, Mean Girls attracted a predominantly female audience (76%), with 70% falling in the 18-34 age range. Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution, credits Tina Fey’s contemporary twist for resonating with audiences and calls the property “iconic.”
Originally slated for Paramount+, the film’s positive test scores prompted a theatrical release, amplified by effective social media marketing. Fey’s return as a writer and co-star, along with a cast featuring Angourie Rice and Auli’i Cravalho, contributed to the film’s $36 million production cost. Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are at 70%, but the B CinemaScore raises questions about its long-term appeal.
The Beekeeper, Amazon and MGM’s action film, claimed second place with an estimated $16.8 million, predominantly attracting a male audience. Meanwhile, Wonka continued its successful run, reaching over $178 million domestically.
Reflecting the musical trend, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, suggests that Hollywood should embrace and highlight musicals. Sony’s romantic comedy Anyone But You and Universal and Illumination’s Migration secured spots in the top five.
However, not every release found success. The Book of Clarence, a faith-based comedy/drama, struggled with a modest $2.6 million opening. The weekend also saw the return of Pixar’s Soul to theatres, part of Disney’s strategy to showcase several Pixar films on the big screen after streaming-only releases during the pandemic.
As Hollywood’s awards season gains momentum, films like Poor Things, a Golden Globes winner, and All of Us Strangers continue to find audiences, contributing to a diverse cinematic landscape. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday, marking a promising start to the year for the film industry.