‘Mean Girls,’ ‘Beekeeper’ in No. 1 Box Office Duel With $7.3 Million on Anemic Weekend

The box office continues to drag itself through a miserable second half of January. With no new wide releases to boost business, overall totals for the weekend have sunk to just $59 million while Paramount’s “Mean Girls” and Amazon MGM’s “The Beekeeper” are dueling for the No. 1 spot with less than $8 million each for the frame.

We won’t know until final totals are posted on Monday which film got No. 1, but based on studio estimates, “The Beekeeper” currently has the edge with $7.4 million. The Miramax-produced action thriller is enjoying a modest run with $42.2 million grossed domestically while passing $100 million worldwide.

Paramount is reporting $7.3 million for “Mean Girls,” which would give the musical teen comedy a total of $60.8 million domestic after three weekends. It’s a solid start to kick off 2024 for Paramount, which pivoted the $36 million budget film from streaming to theatrical.

But for theaters, this weekend is a matter of waiting for February titles like Universal/Apple’s “Argylle,” Sony’s “Madame Web” and Paramount’s “Bob Marley: One Love” to provide some sort of boost to business, even if they aren’t expected to be significant boosts.

The only silver lining for exhibitors is that this isn’t the worst weekend they’ve seen in the last 12 months, as that still belongs to the $51.8 million overall total for the weekend of Sept. 22 when the release slate was going through a similar drought of fresh material.

Warner Bros.’ “Wonka” is in third with $5.9 million, inching ever closer to $200 million domestic with $195 million after seven weekends. When it reaches that mark, “Wonka” will be the first movie since “Oppenheimer” to cross that mark, while it has just passed the $550 million mark worldwide with $552 million and counting.

Universal/Illumination’s “Migration” is in fourth with $5.2 million, enough to push the original family animated film past $100 million domestic and $200 million worldwide. Despite these milestones and the fact that it will turn a slight theatrical profit against its reported $72 million budget, “Migration” isn’t performing like the start of a potential new Illumination franchise, not only grossing less than half of the $634.3 million of the studio’s holiday 2016 film “Sing” but also still standing behind the $239 million global total of Disney’s much pricier misfire “Wish.”

The leggiest film of the winter, Sony/Columbia’s “Anyone But You,” completes the top 5 with $4.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $71 million and its global total to $126 million. The romcom stands as the highest grossing R-rated romantic comedy seen at the box office since “Bridget Jones’ Baby” in 2016.

Following the announcement of the 2024 Oscar nominees, two Best Picture contenders cracked the top 10. Searchlight’s “Poor Things,” which received 11 nominations, expanded to 2,300 locations and added $3 million this weekend, bringing its total to $24.8 million domestic and $51.1 million global.

Amazon MGM’s “American Fiction,” which earned five nominations, sits just behind “Poor Things” with $2.9 million grossed after expanding to 1,702 theaters. The satire from Cord Jefferson now has a running cume of $11.8 million domestic.

The sole newcomer to the top 10 came courtesy of India, as the Hindi military action film “Fighter” was released in 662 theaters by Vive and grossed $3.8 million this weekend, enough to put it in the No. 6 spot on the charts.

Finally, Toho/Emick Media’s “Godzilla Minus One,” after nearly two months of steady play, released a black-and-white cut called “Godzilla Minus One Minus Color” for a one-week limited engagement, adding $2.5 million to bring its American total to $55 million. That’s enough to pass the 2019 Best Picture Oscar winner “Parasite” to become the third-highest grossing non-English film in American box office history.

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