Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Mean Girls Still Rule, but Not as Much

The musical redux of the classic teen flick is tracking to be a profitable film overall and topped the box office for the second week in a row, but it was a lackluster weekend.

by | January 22, 2024 | Comments


On this weekend before the Oscar nominations, studios have not given theaters much to work with. Sure there was some fresh bookings of potential nominees but only one new wide release that basically crashed and burned. The top five remains the same but with a significant decline at the top. Some films are chasing milestones both big and small while others are hoping for a bump on nomination Tuesday and will give theaters something further to work with towards another pending weekend with little exclusively to offer them.

King of the Crop: Mean Girls Still Rule, but Not as Much

Last week there were some key numbers associated with the No. 1 movie in the country, the musical redux of Mean Girls. The film mildly outgrossed its 2004 predecessor $28 million to $24 million, but it also cost twice as much as the original — $36 million compared to $18 million. That latter figure looms larger now that the 2024 version has taken a 59% tumble down to $11.7 million. While it seemingly had forged a path to match the original’s $80+ million gross after a $33 million MLK holiday run, it has come up just ahead of $50 million after 10 days.

Mean Girls dropped more like a horror film in January than a film on its way to becoming a minor teen classic released around this time — like Varsity Blues, She’s All That, or Save the Last Dance. Mean Girls is well ahead of the first two titles by about $19 million but fell down right towards their late ‘90s second weekend levels of $10.5 and $11.6 million. The Meanies are still even $4 million ahead of Last Dance’s 10-day gross, but that film held with a $15.6 million second frame on its way to over $91 million. That might seem like some positive news, but relating it closer to more modern numbers, Mean Girls is now behind the pace of 2022’s Scream, which had $51.1 million and a $12.2 million sophomore weekend on its way to $81 million. Mean Girls 2024 now looks to fall below Mean Girls 2004 domestically, but with a path set to gross over $100 million worldwide, it should still get into the win column for Paramount.

Fresh Surprise: Anyone but You Is Still Making Money

Sony’s Anyone But You continues to earn a spot in this section as the rom-com that will just not go away. The numbers may not seem huge (a $5.4 million fifth weekend and $64.2 million overall) until you realize that it is only the 11th film to open in December in over 2,500 theaters and gross 10 times its opening weekend. That might seem easy when you start with just $6 million with two weeks of holiday to look forward to, but that is word-of-mouth working overtime, especially with so many choices big and small over that period. It also joins that small list of R-rated comedies to gross over $60 million in recent years, not to mention $100 million worldwide on just a $25 million budget.

Rotten Returns: I.S.S. Crashes on Take-Off

The only new wide release this week was Bleecker Street’s I.S.S. and it was pretty much D.O.A. with just $3 million. The studio has only had one film ever open to over $4 million (Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky back in 2017). Their second-highest opener ever was I.S.S. director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s first narrative feature, Megan Leavey, with $3.8 million. (She also directed the acclaimed documentary Blackfish and the 2019 drama Our Friend.) Hopefully the studio can find some success with Sasquatch Sunset, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend; it’s a dialogue-free journey with a Bigfoot family from the Zellner brothers featuring Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Not Much Change, but Oscar Hopefuls Look for a Boost

David Ayer’s The Beekeeper grossed $8.4 million in its second weekend, bringing its 10-day total to $31.1 million. Does that keep it on a path to reach $50 million, a first for Statham in a standalone starring role? In January, $30 million after 10 days is no guarantee to reaching that goal, as many have come up short. Right now, The Beekeeper is on pace with the star-studded if lackluster Gangster Squad, which had $31.7 million after an $8.6 million second weekend and finished with just $46 million. But next week could be very telling, as Gangster Squad took a dive to $4.2 million, and The Beekeeper has almost no new competition to tempt audiences away from a little mindless revenge action against phone scammers, so stay tuned. Regardless, the film is already over $75 million globally.

With $6.4 million this weekend, Wonka got a little closer to a milestone of its own. After a month of release, it has a domestic gross of $187.1 million. The film continues to pace ahead of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows by about $9 million, besting its sixth weekend of $4.5 million. It looks like it will still finish with around $195 million, but if it continues to hold as well as it has (just a 24% drop this week), helped along with that lack of competition we mentioned above, it could be the difference in reaching $200 million. That would still be mild bragging rights, though, for a success that has already cleared $531 million worldwide. Not so for the same studio’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is down to just $3 million already and a Blu-ray launch slated for March. The film is over $113 million right now, struggling to limp over $120 million domestic — well below the $300+ million of the first film. It has taken the entire globe to gross that much this time, with a total at $396 million to date.

Chasing a milestone between The Beekeeper and Wonka is another family adventure in Universal and Illumination’s Migration, which grossed $3.8 million in its fifth weekend. That brings its total over $94 million domestic, still well below the animation studio’s standards, but a win is a win and this is looking to be a mild success. The film is officially ahead of the pace of Jennifer Lawrence’s sci-fi film Passengers, so it is well on track for $100 million domestic, and it’s less than $9 million away from hitting $200 million globally. Universal’s cheaper entry with Blumhouse, Night Swim, made another $2.7 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $23.7 million. If it can find itself around another $10 million, it could actually turn out to be a minor winner for them.

A number of films are hoping to get a bump with Oscar nominations coming out on Tuesday, beginning with Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things from Searchlight, which upped its release to 1,400 theaters and grossed $2.04 million to bring its total over $20 million. Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction from Focus is also hoping to pick up some acting nods for Jeffrey Wright (and maybe Sterling K. Brown) and possibly a Best Picture slot. In 850 theaters this weekend, it grossed $1.8 million and has now made $8 million total. Also hoping to get into the Best Picture and Best Director categories, among others, is Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest from A24, which made another $447,684 in 82 theaters and has now made $1.55 million. Two sports films that have gone wider but may come up with zero nominations between them are George Clooney’s The Boys in the Boat and Sean Durkin’s The Iron Claw. The former made $2.5 million, bringing its total nearly to $44 million, while the latter made $1.6 million and now has a total of $31.5 million.

Full List of Box Office Results: January 19-21, 2024

69% Mean Girls (2024)

  • $11.7 million ($50 million total)

71% The Beekeeper (2024)

  • $8.4 million ($31.1 million total)

82% Wonka (2023)

  • $6.4 million ($187.1 million total)

54% Anyone But You (2023)

  • $5.4 million ($64.2 million total)

72% Migration (2023)

  • $5.3 million ($94.6 million total)

34% Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)

  • $3.6 million ($114.1 million total)

60% I.S.S. (2023)

  • $3.02 million ($3.02 million total)

20% Night Swim (2024)

  • $2.7 million ($23.7 million total)

57% The Boys in the Boat (2023)

  • $2.5 million ($43.8 million total)

92% Poor Things (2023)

  • $2.04 million ($20.3 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Thumbnail image by JoJo Whilden/©Paramount Pictures

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.