Martin Luther King Jr. weekend isn’t bringing any monster opening films to the box office, but Paramount’s musical adaptation of “Mean Girls” is off to a solid start with an $11.6 million opening day from 3,791 theaters, putting it on course for a 4-day opening weekend of approximately $31 million.
That’s in line with pre-release projections of $30 million, and will somewhat soften the blow of what is expected to be a rough post-holiday winter for movie theaters. With no major tentpoles coming in January and February, Paramount’s decision to move “Mean Girls” from a straight-to-streaming release to a theatrical one is certainly being welcomed by exhibitors.
Word-of-mouth for “Mean Girls” has been mixed-to-positive with a B on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 71% for both critics and audiences. In 2023, most films that earned a B+ or lower on CinemaScore, outside of the horror genre, had a hard time legging out, but the lack of major competition in the coming weeks could help “Mean Girls” buck that trend as it easily clears its reported $36 million budget.
In second is Amazon MGM’s “The Beekeeper,” the new David Ayer action film starring Jason Statham, which is projected for an industry-estimated $18 million opening from 3,303 theaters after earning $6.7 million on Friday. The conspiracy-tinged film has received somewhat positive reviews from critics with a 67% Rotten Tomatoes score, along with a B+ on CinemaScore and a 92% RT audience score.
Sony Pictures is seeing mixed results this weekend as its new release from Legendary Pictures, “The Book of Clarence,” is struggling to even crack the top 10. It grossed just $1 million on Friday from 2,010 locations and is now estimated to earn a 4-day opening of just $3 million.
Directed by Jeymes Samuel and starring LaKeith Stanfield, the biblical dramedy about a trickster living in the time of Jesus Christ has received only mildly positive reception, with a B on CinemaScore and a 69% critics Rotten Tomatoes score.
On the flipside, Sony is seeing continued success with Columbia’s “Anyone But You,” which is headed to an estimated $9 million 4-day total this weekend. After four weekends in theaters, the $25 million romcom is set to leg out to a running domestic total of around $57.5 million.
Finally, Warner Bros.’ “Wonka” continues its run as the top film of a tough winter as industry estimates have it earning $10 million across the extended weekend. With that result, the Timothée Chalamet-led prequel will cross $175 million in domestic grosses and $500 million worldwide, becoming the first movie since the end of last summer to hit the latter mark.