‘Mean Girls’ Is Queen Bee Of MLK Weekend But Will Be Only Cool Kid In January – Box Office Preview

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Exhibitors are lighting candles and saying prayers that Paramount‘s feature musical redux Mean Girls carries them big-time throughout January after a dry spell caused by the double strikes. Ya see, for the next three weeks following Mean Girls, there isn’t a major studio wide release until Apple Original Films’ Argylle arrives on February 2 via Universal.

On tracking, Mean Girls is excellent with women, and poised to clear $30 million over the four-day MLK weekend at 3,782 theaters. Meanwhile, Amazon MGM Studios’ R-rated Jason Statham action title The Beekeeper, solid with men and multicultural audiences, is looking at $16M Friday-Monday.

Jason Statham in The Beekeeper

Comscore reported that the first week of 2024 box office at $172.6M was lagging 8% behind the same frame in 2023. However, last year’s MLK weekend will be hard to beat: It was led by the fifth frame of 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water with $39.8M, and the second weekend of Universal/Blumhouse’s M3GAN with $21.7M, good for a total overall four-day holiday B.O. of $124.8M.

Tonight, Paramount is holding early previews of Mean Girls at 450 Dolby and PLF theaters, aka an “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink Early Access Screening” at 7 p.m. That money will be rolled into Thursday previews, which start at 4 p.m.

Mean Girls, rated PG-13 and directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., was written by Tina Fey, based on the stage musical for which she wrote the book, with music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. Pic stars Angourie Rice, Auli’i Cravalho, Reneé Rapp, Jaquel Spivey, Avantika, Bebe Wood, Christopher Briney, Jenna Fischer, Busy Philipps, Fey and Tim Meadows. The pic is currently 75% fresh with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

The original 2004 movie, which starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert, opened to $24.4M and ended its domestic run at $86M domestic, $130.1M worldwide.

Beekeeper is in 3,303 locations including Imax, Screen X, 4DX and some Dolby. The David Ayer-directed movie follows one man’s brutal campaign for vengeance, which takes on national stakes after he’s revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as “Beekeepers.” Critics gave it 72% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which is higher than Statham’s last two movies Meg 2 (27% Rotten) and Expendables 4 (14% Rotten).

Sony-TriStar is releasing Legendary Pictures’ The Book of Clarence, which isn’t suppose to do well with a low-single-digit take over four days at 2,100 theaters.

Written and directed by Jeymes Samuel, the movie is suppose to be new twist on the Biblical epic. However, the faith-based aren’t bound to be flocking to this: LaKeith Stanfield plays a streetwise, struggling guy trying to make a better life for himself and his family. He becomes captivated by the power and glory of the rising Messiah and His apostles, and risks everything to carve his own path to a divine life.

Thursday previews start at 3 p.m. in 1,825 locations.

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