Mean Girls takes 1st place
Winter storms and cinema closures in North America didn’t dampen the opening weekend for Mean Girls.
The Paramount release, adapted from the Broadway musical and the 2004 Tina Fey movie, earned US$28 million in its first three days according to studio estimates Sunday. Not accounting for inflation, that’s more than the US$24.4 million the first movie made in its opening weekend.
The Mean Girls competition over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend featured several new releases, including the Jason Statham action movie The Beekeeper and the Jay-Z produced biblical satire The Book of Clarence, in addition to a slew of awards contenders capitalising on buzz from recent nominations and the Golden Globes.
As with Barbie, another enthusiastically pink movie, female audiences made up the vast majority (76 per cent) of opening weekend ticket buyers for Mean Girls. According to exit polls, 70 per cent were between the ages of 18 and 34, which, yes, means that it had appeal for audiences who hadn’t been born when Regina George was first introduced to the world.
This iteration of Mean Girls stars Angourie Rice, Auli’i Cravalho and ReneÃ© Rapp, who played Regina onstage. It was originally planned to go straight to streaming on Paramount+, but the studio pivoted after test scores were positive.
Social media played a big part in getting the word out and Mean Girls also inspired groups of friends to go to the movies together. An estimated 40 per cent went with two or more friends.
Amazon and MGM’s The Beekeeper debuted in second place with an estimated US$16.8 million from 3,303 cinemas.