Winter Storm Gerri Doesn’t Cramp ‘Mean Girls’ Style As Musical Heads For $32M Opening – Sunday Update

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SUNDAY AM Update: Refresh for updates… There were still some theater closures in the Midwest into Saturday from Winter Storm Gerri, but Mean Girls kept on track in the region, the 4-day for the Angourie Rice-Renee Rapp ensemble still at $32M after a $9.6M Saturday, -17% against Friday which included previews. Still without the storm, the notion is that there would be more bucks, but a confidence exudes that business will recover once everyone in the Midwest thaws out.

While Storm Gerri was headed to New England, she didn’t step on Mean Girls‘ toes as the pic overperformed in Boston. However, there were a couple of theaters closed in Buffalo with the last show at 4:30pm due to a no travel that was mandated at 9PM.

Similar to their pivot of Smile from Paramount+ to the big screen, Paramount put a lot oomph into stoking the Mean Girls fanbase. On October 3, which doubles as Mean Girls and National Boyfriend Day, the studio pulled off a novel stunt and dropped the original 2004 movie on TikTok in 23 parts on the Mean Girls handle; which mushroomed in followers. October 3 is celebrated as “Mean Girls Day” because of a line in the original movie from Lindsay Lohan’s character Cady, who has a crush on Aarron. She tells him, “It’s October 3rd.” The one-liner has led to fans of the film celebrating the pic with memes and wearing pink. Paramount also dropped the title treatment for the new Mean Girls movie on Oct. 3. Social media analytics firm RelishMix reports an unprecedented number of hashtags for #meangirls at mind-boggling 16 billion — this is all due to TikTok.

SATURDAY AM: There was a winter storm impacting the Midwest yesterday, Winter Storm Gerri, which forced dozens of cinema closures. But that didn’t stop Paramount’s Mean Girls from hitting $11.65M (including previews), continuing to put its 4-day north of $30M at $31.5M.

Outside of Barbie post-pandemic, this is a remarkable start for a movie aimed at women, Mean Girls pulling in 73% female. On a 3-day basis, the pic is looking at $27.5M, which isn’t that far from Universal’s pre-Covid R-rated Girls Trip, which debuted to $31.2M in mid-July 2017. This redux of Mean Girls also beats the 3-day of the original 2004 movie, which debuted to $24.4M (unadjusted for inflation) in late April. In addition, the musical renaissance at the box office continues here with Mean Girls after the $39M opening, and current 4.6x multiple of Wonka ($178.1M).

Remarkable, considering how solid the movie is playing across the East, Midwest, and Mountain areas. Those theaters that shuttered yesterday because of Gerri will reopen today, I understand, and a rebound in business is in the cards for the Tina Fey-scripted movie adapted from her musical with Jeff Richmond.

The upper Midwest, which is usually 11% of a pic’s business, came in at 9% for Mean Girls. Toronto, which is typically a top ten city, was No. 17 yesterday. Gerri will wind up in New England today, and the hope is that it doesn’t lock Mean Girls fanatics out of the theater, Boston being one of the pic’s top cities.

According to the Weather Channel, Gerri dumped a foot or more of snow in eastern and southern Iowa and southern and eastern Wisconsin. Winter weather advisories are in effect today for the Plains into the Great Lakes and northern New England, the latter bound to be a mix of rain and snow.

Other popular places for Mean Girls are Philly, Nashville, and Salt Lake City. A movie that plays to the middle of the country — something Hollywood should have more of. AMC Lincoln Square in NYC is the top-grossing cinema so far with just under $50K.

Mean Girls gets a B to the original pic’s A-. Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak audiences are really hard on the movie at 3 stars, 70%. What’s clear is that packs of women made a date to see the movie, with 32% of women under 25 attending with 2-4 friends, and 28% of those women over 25 attending with the same number. Women overall gave Mean Girls a grade of 69%.

Sixty-seven percent of the 18-34 year old demo attended Mean Girls, with 18-24 year olds showing up at 40%. Diversity demos are 52% Caucasian, a strong 26% Latino and Hispanic, 11% Black, 8% Asian and other. Premium large format screens rep 26% of the movie’s ticket sales so far.

Amazon MGM’s Jason Statham movie, The Beekeeper, after a $6.7M Friday (plus previews) is eyeing a $19.2M opening. The movie gets a B+, which is better than Statham’s Meg 2 (B-) and Expend4ables (B-). PostTrak exits are good at 84% positive and a 63% definite recommend. Guys showed up at 62%, with 42% of ticketholders between 18-34. Those over 45 numbered 38%. Biggest demo was 25-34 year olds at 26%. Strong multicultural pull as expected, with 44% Caucasian, 22% Latino and Hispanic, 17% Black, 11% Asian, and 6% other. Beekeeper has all the Imax screens, which are delivering 40% of the weekend gross to date. Beekeeper is buzzing in the West, South Central, South, and Midwest, with the AMC Empire NYC the top-grossing venue with close to $22k.

Overall, marketplace stands at an estimated $120.9M over four-days, -3% from last year. There’s a chance, if both movies overpower, the frame will be even with last year’s MLK weekend holiday.

Legendary’s The Book of Clarence via Sony’s TriStar is currently slotting in tenth place with a 4-day $3M after a $1M Friday, but could drop further. The red ink from this $40M production, as well as marketing costs, are on the hands of Legendary. Sony, I understand, comes out clean with a distribution fee. The movie about a Christ-like prophet is positioned toward the faith-based, but they’re not entirely embracing it. Typically, great faith-based movies get an A or even A+, and Book of Clarence is getting shut out with a B Cinemascore. PostTrak moviegoers flat out rejected the movie at 67% and a 45% recommend. Highest-grossing cinema for this movie is the iPic Atlanta, with a low $6K. Mostly males attending at 57%, which is also unusual for a faith-based movie, with the largest demo being 25-34 year olds at 35%. Diversity demos were 57% Black, 28% Caucasian, 6% Latino and Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 4% other. Business, whatever amount there is of it, is in the East and the South.

Disney’s rer-elease of Pixar’s Soul at 1,350 theaters, a movie that’s been on Disney+ since December 2020, is yielding empty auditoriums after a $125K Friday and expected 4-day of $516K. The movie’s previous overseas release from then is currently $121M.

Shoutout to Toho’s Godzilla Minus One, which has just crossed $50M at the domestic box office, making it the highest-grossing Japanese language live action or animated movie ever released in the U.S./Canada.  Godzilla Minus One is currently the fifth-highest grossing non-English language film at the domestic B.O.

Saturday estimates:

1.) Mean Girls (Par) 3,791 theaters, Fri $11.65M, 3-day $27.5M, 4-day $31.5M/Wk 1

2.) The Beekeeper (AMZ MGM) 3,303 theaters, Fri $6.7M, 3-day $16.8M, 4-day $19.2M/Wk 1

3.) Wonka (WB) 3,346 (-471) theaters, Fri $1.8M (-58%) 3-day $7.6M (-46%), 4-day $10.3M Total $178.1M/Wk 5

4.) Anyone But You (Sony) 2,935 (-120) Fri $2.1M (-35%), 3-day $7.5M (-23%), 4 day $9.25M Total $57.4M/Wk 4

5.) Migration (Ill/Uni) 3,224 (-488) theaters, Fri $1.14M (-62%) 3-day $5.15M (-48%), 4-day $6.8M Total $86.4M/ Wk 4

6.) Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (WB) 2,741 (-812) theaters, Fri $1.15M (-63%) 3-day $4.86M (-54%), 4-day $5.9M /Total $108.8M/Wk 4

7.) Night Swim (Uni) 3,257 (+7) theaters, Fri $1.16M (-78%), 3-day $4M (-66%), 4-day $4.67M, Total $19.1M/Wk 7

8.) Guntur Kaaram (Parth) 800 theaters, Fri $2M, 3-day $4.1M, 4-day $4.58M/Wk 1

9.) Boys in the Boat (AMZ MGM) 2,007 (-680) theaters, Fri $974K (-45%), 3-day $3.5M (-37%), 4-day $4.187M Total $40M, Wk 3

10.) The Book of Clarence (Leg/Tri-Star) Fri $1M 3-day $2.58M 4-day $3M/Wk 1

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Paramount’s redux of Mean Girls is eyeing $12.3M today, including previews, for what will be a 3-day of $29M and 4-day of $33M at 3,791 theaters.

Amazon MGM’s The Beekeeper possibly has a shot at $20M over 4-days after a $7M Friday, and 3-day of $17M at 3,303 sites.

Despite the solid start by both movies, this MLK weekend looks to fall short of last year’s which grossed $124.8M over four days per Box Office Mojo, catapulted by the fifth weekend of Avatar: The Way of Water ($39.8M) and the second weekend of M3GAN ($21.66M). Essentially, the depth we had with holdovers last year was deeper — unless Warner Bros.’ Wonka and Sony’s Anyone But You can overindex.

The fifth weekend of Wonka is looking at a fifth Friday between $1.8M-$2M, which will get it to between $8M-$9M over 3 days and $10M-$12M over four at 3,346 theaters.

'Anyone but You' teaser with Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell

Sony

Sony’s Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell romcom sleeper, Anyone But You is seeing a fourth Friday of $2.1M, estimated 3-day of $7.7M, -21% and 4-day of $9.5M at 2,935 locations. That will get the movie to $57.7M, which would be 2% ahead of the last romcom (even though it was older skewing), Universal’s George Clooney-Julia Roberts title Ticket to Paradise at the same point in time. That movie ended its U.S/Canada run at $68.2M.

Fifth goes to the fourth weekend of Illumination/Universal’s Migration with a Friday of $1M at 3,214 theaters for a 3 day of $4.7M, 4-day of $6.3M and running cume by end of MLK day of $85.8M.

Legendary/Tri-Star’s The Book of Clarence is crashing with a Friday of $1M, 3-day of $2.4M, 4-day of $3M.

FRIDAY AM: Paramount’s next iteration of Mean Girls has minted $3.25M in previews. That figure includes 4pm showtimes from yesterday as well as the “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” early access screenings.

A reminder that Paramount pivoted the release of Mean Girls: It was originally intended for Paramount+, and the test scores screamed, ‘Release this movie theatrically!’.

So far Mean Girls is 3 1/2 stars on Comscore Screen Engine’s PostTrak with 71% women showing up. Of those, 44% were women under 25 with 28% women over 25. Rotten Tomatoes critics are 70% fresh.

In regards to comp, Mean Girls is just under the $3.5M earned by Paramount/Spyglass Media’s Scream in previews, which was also an MLK weekend release two years ago, that movie reaching $30M in 3 days. It’s also higher than M3GAN, a pre-MLK weekend release last year, which did $2.75M, on its way to a $30.4M 3-day start.

MGM/Everett Collection

Meanwhile, Amazon MGM’s is looking to appease guys over MLK weekend with The Beekeeper, which so far has $2.4M from previews last night. The David Ayer directed, Jason Statham movie is booked in 3,303 theaters — and the movie will have the upside of Imax tickets. Beekeeper is 72% fresh with Rotten Tomatoes critics and early exits from PostTrak show a solid 4 stars with 65% guys showing up, overall audience is 82% over 25 for the R-rated movie.

Beekeeper‘s previews are under the $3.2M of Statham’s The Meg 2, but in great news, the preview figure is above that of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemena non-Statham late January, pre-Covid title which saw previews of $725K before posting a $10.6M opening.  

Mean Girls and The Beekeeper will respectively take the top two spots at the box office with expected 4-days of $30M and $16M. They are the only major studio wide releases left for the rest of the month until Apple Original Films’ Argylle arrives via Universal on Feb. 2.

Mean Girls, rated PG-13, was directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. The movie was written by Tina Fey, based on the Broadway stage musical for which she wrote the book, with music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin.

Legendary’s The Book of Clarence from Sony’s TriStar is also opening this weekend aimed at Black and faith-based moviegoers. It’s not expected to do well, in the low single digits. Previews last night were $285k at 1,891 locations that began showtimes at 3PM.

Disney has the re-release of Pixar’s Soul, which never received a theatrical release due to the pandemic, rather was pivoted to Disney+. That movie will be hitting 1,300 theaters and is only expected to make around $2M.

Thursday numbers were low for other movies in theatrical release. But still, it’s interesting to point out that Sony’s romantic comedy Anyone But You ruled the weekdays following Sunday with a gross yesterday of $997K at 3,055 theaters, -4% from Wednesday. Total cume before MLK weekend is $48.2M.

Warner Bros.’ Wonka was second with $675K yesterday at 3,817, -14% from Wednesday and a running total of $167.8M after its fourth week.

Amazon MGM’s The Boys in the Boat saw $559K on Thursday at 2,687, -3% from Wednesday, and a running total of $35.8M as it heads into its third weekend.

Warner Bros.’ Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at 3,553 theaters posted $550K, -19% from Wednesday, for a running total at the end of week 3 of $103M.

Fifth yesterday was Universal/Blumhouse’s Night Swim with an estimated $487K, -22%, at 3,250 theaters for a first week’s take of $14.5M.

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