Paramount's adaptation of "Mean Girls" has made a strong debut at the box office, surpassing expectations and bringing in an estimated $28 million domestically, with a total of $32 million for the holiday weekend. This opening is higher than the original film's $24.4 million debut in 2004, which starred Lindsay Lohan. It is worth noting that Paramount had initially planned for the film to be released exclusively on streaming platforms, but the success of the movie prompted a theatrical release.
The popularity of "Mean Girls" seems to transcend its format, resonating with audiences in various mediums. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, believes that Tina Fey's vision for the characters has struck a chord with audiences, even two decades after the original film's release. The success of the musical adaptation demonstrates the enduring appeal of the story.
The movie musical genre has faced challenges in recent years, but "Mean Girls," along with other upcoming releases such as Warner Bros.' "Wonka" and "The Color Purple," indicates a resurgence of interest in this format. The combination of Renee Rapp's talent and charisma, along with the nostalgia associated with the original film, likely contributed to the film's success.
While the film predominantly attracted a female audience, it played well beyond the teen demographic. The largest percentage of ticket sales came from the 26 to 35 age group, accounting for 34% of all opening weekend sales. The 18 to 25 demographic represented 26% of ticket sales, indicating that the film appealed to both older and younger viewers.
Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, sees the success of "Mean Girls" as a testament to the power of nostalgia combined with a fresh and modern twist, particularly for female audiences. He emphasizes the importance of Hollywood embracing both Gen Z and Millennial moviegoers, as they are currently driving box office success.
Overall, "Mean Girls" has proven to be a successful adaptation that has resonated with audiences, showcasing the enduring appeal and cultural impact of this beloved story.