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Box Office: Jason Statham's 'The Beekeeper' and 'Mean Girls' Battle for No. 1 in Slow Weekend

Have The Plastics found their match?

It's too early to tell, but Paramount's “Mean Girls” musical is virtually tied with Amazon MGM's “The Beekeeper” for the top spot in this unusually tight box office battle.

Amazon MGM reports that “The Beekeeper” took the top spot in its third weekend in theaters with $7.4 million from 3,337 theaters. Meanwhile, Paramount reports that the musical “Mean Girls” has grossed $7.3 million from 3,544 venues and could win the weekend for the third time… once final numbers are announced on Monday. (Sunday's football schedule could keep “The Beekeeper's” largely male audience at home and in front of the TV.)

Either way, it's a dismal time at the box office. It's the second weekend in a row without a new major studio release, meaning January is ending with a whimper. The spy comedy “Argylle” (from Apple and Universal) opens February 2nd, while the comic book adaptation “Madame Web” (from Sony) and the biographical musical “Bob Marley: One Love” (from Paramount) premiere on February 14th. But moviegoing isn't expected to gain serious traction until Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part Two is released in March.

“[Attendance in] The first half of 2024 will be inconsistent,” predicts David A. Gross, who heads the film consulting company Franchise Entertainment Research. “The actors' strike ended eleven weeks ago. The industry cannot snap its fingers and deliver huge films on a dime. They will return in time and the release schedule will complete.”

Regardless of what the final numbers turn out to be, Paramount's decision to bring Mean Girls to the big screen rather than directly to Paramount+ has proven to make financial sense. The film-turned-Broadway musical-turned-movie has grossed $60.8 million in North America and $84.3 million worldwide to date, a decent result considering the film's modest budget of $36 million .

David Ayer's action thriller The Beekeeper has grossed $41.6 million in North America and $100 million worldwide. The film, in which Jason Statham plays a former agent who seeks revenge on behalf of his friend, was produced and financed by Miramax. Amazon MGM (which acquired the North American rights) will only cover the cost of booking the film in domestic theaters.

Given the lull, the domestic box office charts look much the same as they did last weekend, with Timothee Chalamet's “Wonka” in third place, Universal and Illumination's animated “Migration” at No. 4, and Sony's romantic comedy “Anyone But You” rounding out the top at fifth.

“Wonka” stayed in the top three for seven straight weekends. It is an ode to the impressive staying power of musical comedy and a sign of the complete lack of competition. “Wonka” grossed $5.9 million from 3,014 venues, boosting its domestic tally to $195 million. The family-friendly film, which cost $100 million, grossed more than $552 million worldwide.

“Migration” passed the $100 million mark after grossing $5 million from 2,962 theaters this weekend. The animated comedy grossed $104 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $206 million. The film, about a family of ducks who head south for the winter, got off to a slow start at the holiday box office but held up long enough to justify its $70 million price tag.

The R-rated film “Anyone But You,” in which Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell pretend to be the perfect couple at a wedding, has also been a staple since Christmas. In its sixth weekend in theaters, the film grossed $4.8 million from 2,885 theaters. On its $25 million budget, it grossed $71.1 million domestically and $126.6 million worldwide. Score a point for (true) love!

Elsewhere, Oscar nominations led to a slight increase in box office returns for titles such as “Poor Things,” “American Fiction” and “The Zone of Interest.”

Searchlight's offbeat comedy “Poor Things,” from director Yorgos Lanthimos and star Emma Stone, grossed $2.8 million from 2,300 venues after receiving 11 Oscar nominations. These ticket sales represent a 32% increase from the weekend before. So far, the film has collected $24.5 million domestically and $51 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing arthouse films in these post-pandemic times.

Jonathan Glazer's haunting Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” grossed $1.08 million from just 317 screens over the weekend. The A24 film has grossed $3 million so far.

Cord Jefferson's literary satire “American Fiction,” another best picture nominee, brought in $2.8 million from 1,702 theaters, up 65% from last weekend. The film, starring Jeffrey Wright as a frustrated novelist, grossed $11.8 million in North America.