The battle for the top spot this weekend got interesting — or at least as interesting as it can get when studios offer few challengers. Would it be the two-time champion musical remake of a 20-year-old film looking to become the first three-week victor since The Nun II? Or would it be the new Statham and his secret forces campaign to follow the money from phishing scams? Either way, at least theaters still have those to play for the time being.
And the winner is… David Ayer’s The Beekeeper. The “Jason Statham vs. the Grandma Scammers” film actually beat Mean Girls three of the four weekdays this past stretch and continued on through with $7.4 million to narrowly take the weekend. Its total stands at $42.2 million, which is right in the realm of how The Butterfly Effect and Escape Room were holding during January when each ended up between $57-58 million. The Beekeeper is now certain to become the first solo-starring Jason Statham vehicle (minus a giant shark) to break $50 million at the domestic box office, and it will break $100 million worldwide as well to join Mechanic: Resurrection, Transporter 3, and Wrath of Man.
Meanwhile, Mean Girls pulled up with $7.3 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to just below $61 million, right about where Save the Last Dance found itself back in 2001 (though that film had a stronger third weekend with $9.7 million). Mean Girls’ weekend was closer to that of Mama, which made $6.5 million and $58.1 million after 17 days. It finished its run with just over $71 million, suggesting that Mean Girls is going to come in around $75 million, below the 2004 original but enough to cover its $36 million budget with its international haul, which currently stands at $16.2 million.
Not far behind the top spot is the champion of the holiday season, Paul King’s Wonka. The Warner Bros. release grossed $5.9 million in its seventh weekend, bringing its domestic total to over $195 million and erasing any doubt that it is headed for $200 million. A more crowded marketplace may have slowed its roll a bit but the family film should achieve that milestone by the end of next weekend. The director’s beloved Paddington films combined for an international gross of around $510 million. Wonka has just cruised past $552 million on its own worldwide.
Another family film crossing its own milestone this weekend was Migration from Universal and Illumination. The animated bird film grossed $5.1 million to finally get over the $100 million hump after six weekends. Its gross this weekend is better than most of the December releases that took this long to get into nine digits. The Last Samurai had a $4.5 million sixth weekend and Migration is about $4 million ahead of that pace, suggesting a final nesting spot in the $115-120 million region. The film has also passed $200 million worldwide and is a success, if just a minor one, for the studio.
In fifth place again is Will Gluck’s Anyone But You from Sony, making $4.8 million in its sixth weekend. That brings its total to over $71 million, the fifth-best total for an R-rated film from 2023. This is also the best gross for an R-rated rom-com since Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck back in 2015. Grossing nearly 12 times its opening weekend, the Sydney Sweeney/Glen Powell vehicle now ranks fifth among December releases starting in at least 2,500 theaters, now behind only Titanic, The Greatest Showman, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, and Rumor Has It. It has made over $126 million worldwide to date.
Moving up the ranks to sixth place is Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, which, after receiving 11 Oscar nominations on Tuesday, earned $3 million to bring its total up to $24.7 million. The director’s previous film, The Favourite, grossed a total of $34.3 million and made $2.54 million the week of its nominations. It had made $26.1 million by the end of its 10th weekend of release. Poor Things is in its eighth and is on pace to outgross his last Oscar winner and potentially become Searchlight’s highest-grossing since its Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water back in 2017-18.
Also getting an Oscar bump this week is Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction from MGM. It grossed $2.9 million in 1,702 theaters, up from $1.75 million last week in 850 theaters. That brings its total to $11.8 million. One of two A24 Best Picture nominees is Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, which bulked up its run and made $1.08 million to drive its total up to $3 million to date. While not a Best Picture or International Feature nominee, Visual Effects nominee Godzilla Minus One nevertheless bolted back into the top 10 for the first time since the weekend before Christmas with $2.63 million. The Japanese-language film has now grossed over $100 million worldwide, $55 million of which is domestic, making it the fourth-highest grossing non-English language release in the U.S. ever behind The Passion of the Christ, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Life is Beautiful. While not quite there on that list, the Indian action film Fighter opened in sixth place this weekend with $3.7 million, turning in the best per-theater average for any film in the top 10 with $5,600. Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated The Boy and the Heron also continues to make money, as it has now grossed over $44 million.
James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has crossed $400 million at the worldwide box office — $412 million to be precise — a far cry from the billion of the original but also just the 14th film of 2023 to accomplish that achievement. The film is still coming up short for Warner Bros. and the former DC Universe, but its nowhere near the disaster of Black Adam or the recent The Marvels. $2.8 million this weekend makes its domestic total less than 30% of its total box office. Staying in the water is George Clooney’s The Boys in the Boat with $2.2 million to bring its total up to $47.4 million, which is not enough to cover its $40 million budget right now with an international gross of only $1.73 million to date. The theme continues with Night Swim, which added $2.1 million to its local haul of $26.8 million. The Blumhouse horror film has now made over $41 million worldwide, less than a third of its hit M3GAN last January.
In other limited news, Ava DuVernay’s Origin grossed $1.4 million in 660 theaters; it has grossed $2.5 million to date. Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-leading Oppenheimer added another million, bringing its domestic total to over $328 million and $954 million worldwide. Returning to theaters after nominations this week, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers grossed $520,000 in 1,267 theaters; its total now stands at $19.3 million. Oscar nominee Justine Triet had her film Anatomy of a Fall bulk up to 380 theaters, where it made $211,000; its total stands at $4.1 million. Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers, which received zero nominations, grossed $402,000 in 275 theaters to bring its total over $3 million. Lionsgate’s release of Miller’s Girl with Martin Freeman and Jenna Ortega made $300,000 in 350 theaters. Last year’s Sundance debut, Sometimes I Think About Dying with Daisy Ridley, debuted to $40,000 in two theaters. Oscilloscope will expand the film further in the coming weeks.
A new movie! In theaters! Courtesy of Universal and director Matthew Vaughn comes Argylle with Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell playing another guy with a secret. Whatever the big secret is, we cannot reveal for you here. But expect a new No. 1 film to talk about next week. Will audiences be intrigued?
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail image by JoJo Whilden/©Paramount Pictures