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Box Office: Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, Jason Statham’s The Beekeeper Rule Over MLK Jr. Weekend

After a generally terrible kick-off weekend to the year, 2024 got a little boost at the box office by two movies that did slightly better than expected over MLK Jr. Day weekend.

Going into the weekend, the Mean Girls musical movie, also co-written and starring Tina Fey, had received decent reviews with Paramount Pictures giving it a release into 3,791 theaters. Starring Angourie Rice (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Reneé Rapp (Secret Lives of College Girls), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Jaquel Spivey, Avantika, Bebe Wood, Christopher Briney, and Jenna Fischer, the movie had sneak previews on Weds night and Thurs afternoon, which added up to $3.3 million, which was then compiled into an opening Friday of $11.7 million. Paramount estimates that the musical comedy made $28 million over the three-day weekend and projects $32 million for the four-day weekend.

Mean Girls received a “B” rating on CinemaScore, which isn’t great for a fan-driven movie, but there also isn’t much in terms of competition the next few months.

MGM released Jason Statham‘s action-thriller The Beekeeper, directed by David Ayer, into 3,303 theaters nationwide and after previews that brought in $2.4 million, it ended up with $6.8 million on its opening Friday (including those previews) and with an estimated $16.8 million for its three-day weekend. It’s currently projected to make $19.2 million over the four-day weekend, which is better than projected.

Surprisingly, The Beekeeper also received predominantly good reviews (including my own), and its CinemaScore was better than the other two new movies with a “B+,” the same rating as last year’s Fast X received.

Warner Bros‘ musical, Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, dropped to third place with $8.4 million estimated for the weekend – down 40% from last weekend — with $11 million projected including the Monday holiday. Wonka also crossed the $500 million mark globally, as it has already racked up $177.9 million domestically and another $15.3 million overseas this weekend, for an international total of $329.1 million.

Sony has a bonafide hit in Will Gluck‘s rom-com, Anyone But You, starring Sydney Sweeney and Glenn Powell, which made another $7.1 million (down 27%) over its third weekend to move into fourth place, and with Monday, it’s projected to make $8.5 million for the four-day weekend. Domestic total is at $56.7 million, which is terrific for a movie that opened with just $6 million before Christmas.

Illumination Entertainment’s Migration, the only animated family film in enough theaters to make the top 10, took fifth place for the three-day weekend with $6.2 million (down 38%) in 3,224 theaters, but is projected to take fourth place for the four-day weekend with $8.3 million, just ahead of Anyone But You. It has grossed $87.9 million over the last month in theaters, which isn’t great, but it’s better than Disney‘s Wish, which opened a few weeks earlier.

Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, still playing in 2,741 theaters — it lost 812 theaters on Friday – took sixth place with an estimated $5.3 million (down 50%) over the three-day weekend and $6.6 million including Monday. It has grossed $109.6 million domestically since opening before Christmas. With the $16.6 million made overseas this past weekend, the DC movie has grossed $265.5 million internationally for a global total of $373.7 million through Sunday.

Universal and Blumhouse‘s Night Swim (co-produced by Aquaman director, James Wan) took a nasty 61% plunge in its second weekend to take seventh place with $4.7 million over the three-day weekend and $5.5 million including Monday. Although Blumhouse tends to make these movies relatively inexpensively, it’s only made $20 million in North America so far, which is pretty awful.

Breaking into the top 10 with a release by Prathyangira Cinemas into 800 theaters was the new Telugu language crime-thriller, Guntur Kaaram, opening in eighth place with $4.1 million, an average of $6k per location.

George Clooney‘s The Boys in the Boat made $3.5 million (down 36%) in its third full weekend and a projected $4.2 million including Monday. That brings its domestic total to $40 million.

Sony Pictures did not have much luck convincing people to go see Jaymes Samuel‘s biblical comedy, The Book of Clarence, starring LaKeith Stanfield, opening it in just 2,010 theaters. Samuels’ sophomore effort received mixed reviews in a similar range as The Beekeeper (you can read my review here) but it had to settle for tenth place opening with $2.6 million over the three-day weekend and a projected $3 million including MLK Jr. Day.

Due to the success of the Telugu film, A24‘s The Iron Claw got bumped from the top 10 with $2.4 million (down 47%) for the three-day weekend and $3 million including Monday for a domestic total of $29.2 million.

MGM Amazon expanded Cord Jefferson‘s American Fiction, starring Jeffrey Wright, into 625 theaters where it made $1.9 million over the three-day weekend and $2.3 million including Monday with $5.2 million grossed before it inevitably goes wider later this month.

Disney tried to get Pixar Animation‘s Oscar-winning animated feature, Soul, directed by Pete Docter, into theaters after it forsook that experience for a Disney+ streaming debut during the pandemic. Despite opening in 1,350 theaters, even diehard Disney fans weren’t having it, and it only made $429,000 or $317 per theater. With plans to release Turning Red and Luca into theaters over the next couple months, one wonders whether those other two Oscar-nominated movies might help get more families back into theaters to watch animated movies, but it’s not very likely.

Weekend Box Office (all the below are for the three-day portion of the weekend)

Rank Entry Distributor Revenue Theater Count Total Revenue
1 Mean Girls Paramount Pictures $28,000,000 3,791 $28,000,000
2 The Beekeeper MGM $16,789,000 3,303 $16,789,000
3 Wonka Warner Bros. $8,465,000 3,346 $176,194,000
4 Anyone But You Sony Pictures $6,940,000 2,935 $55,179,000
5 Migration Universal $6,190,000 3,224 $85,756,000
6 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Warner Bros. $5,250,000 2,741 $108,228,000
7 Night Swim Universal $4,660,000 3,257 $19,170,000
8 Guntur Kaaram Prathyangira Cinemas $4,100,000 800 $4,100,000
9 The Boys in the Boat MGM $3,524,897 2,007 $39,356,000
10 The Book of Clarence Sony Pictures $2,575,000 2,010 $2,575,000
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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