‘Mean Girls’ takes 1st place at the box office. So fetch.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Avantika, from left, Angourie Rice, Renee Rapp and Bebe Wood in a scene from "Mean Girls." (Jojo Whilden/Paramount via AP)

Winter storms and cinema closures in North America didn’t dampen the opening weekend for “Mean Girls.” The Paramount release, adapted from the Broadway musical and the 2004 Tina Fey movie, earned $28 million in its first three days in theaters according to studio estimates Sunday. Not accounting for inflation, that’s more than the $24.4 million the first movie made in its opening weekend.

The “Mean Girls” competition over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend featured several new releases, including the Jason Statham action movie “The Beekeeper” and the Jay-Z produced biblical satire “The Book of Clarence,” in addition to a slew of awards contenders capitalizing on buzz from recent nominations and the Golden Globes.


As with “Barbie,” another enthusiastically pink movie, female audiences made up the vast majority (76%) of opening weekend ticket buyers for “Mean Girls.” According to exit polls, 70% were between the ages of 18 and 34, which, yes, means that it had appeal for audiences who hadn’t been born when Regina George was first introduced to the world.

“The property is iconic,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution. “Tina Fey is legendary and her contemporary twist has resonated with audiences, particularly the female audience.”

This iteration of “Mean Girls” stars Angourie Rice, Auli’i Cravalho and Reneé Rapp, who played Regina on stage. It was originally planned to go straight to streaming on Paramount+, but the studio pivoted after test scores were positive.

Social media played a big part in getting the word out and “Mean Girls” also inspired groups of friends to go to the movies together. An estimated 40% went with two or more friends.

Fey returned to write and co-star in the new film, which was directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. and cost a reported $36 million to produce. Reviews have been more positive than not, with a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences gave it a B CinemaScore which may not bode especially well for word-of-mouth appeal. Recent musicals like “Wonka” and “The Color Purple” scored in the A-range. The studio is optimistic after this weekend though. It also made $6.5 million from 16 international markets.

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