January continued its slow start at the box office. The modest bump last weekend from the opening of MEAN GIRLS and THE BEEKEEPER dissipated, with I.S.S. as the only new wide release to entice audiences.
Frigid temperatures continued across the Eastern half of the U.S., encouraging moviegoers to stay home by the fire. All movies this weekend grossed $65.7M, which was only 87% of the $75.3M total box office from the same weekend last year.
Next week will be slow again, without any new wide release on offer. The situation will improve on February 2nd when the action thriller ARGYLLE, produced by Apple and distributed by Universal. Reports from early screenings have been positive, leading some to believe that it could become the first $100M+ movie of the year.
MEAN GIRLS finished #1 for the second weekend in a row by earning $11.7M, a decline of 59% from last week’s opening. After 10 days, the musical comedy has grossed $50M in the domestic market and $60M worldwide.
Despite this rather steep second weekend drop, its overall performance has been solid. With less extreme winter weather it would have done even better. MEAN GIRLS should draw audiences through Valentine’s Day since the current competition is weak and only two new wide releases will open over the next three weeks.
Jason Statham and THE BEEKEEPER muscled their way to a second-place finish for the second weekend. AMAZON/ MGM’s vengeance thriller grossed $8.5M this weekend, a drop of 49%. Its ten-day totals are $31.1M in the domestic market and $60M worldwide. Statham is a veritable star with global audiences, as demonstrated by the success last summer of MEG 2: THE TRENCH which earned $82.6M domestically but nearly four times that amount ($315.1M) in international markets, adding up to a worldwide total of $397.7M.
Roughly 50% of THE BEEKEEPER’s gross is coming from international territories. After spending only $34M to produce the movie, Amazon has a winner on its hands. Perhaps it will be sufficient justification to create future BEEKEEPERs.
WONKA earned a third-place finish by stirring up an additional $6.4M, a decline of only 24% from last weekend. After five full weeks and six weekends, the feel-good movie starring Timothee Chalamet has grossed over $500M worldwide. WONKA has done its part to help 2024 contend with last year’s box office, considering that AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER earned $20.1M on this same weekend, which was also its sixth frame. Christmas would have been much bleaker this year had Warner Bros. decided to push WONKA off of its holiday release date for a later date in 2024.
ANYONE BUT YOU came in fourth place with $5.4M, a skinny decline of only 24%. After 31 days in theatres, the rom-com that won’t go away has a total domestic gross of $64.2M, above the $50.5M earned by last year’s top rom-com NO HARD FEELINGS. Previously, we have measured the performance of ANYONE BUT YOU against TICKET TO PARADISE finished with a total domestic gross of $68.3M. ANYONE BUT YOU will surpass that amount early next week to become the top-grossing rom-com in the post-pandemic era.
MIGRATION finished in fifth place with an additional $5.4M, dropping only 15% from last weekend. The animated feature has earned $94.7M over its 31-day journey. Universal and Illumination should be congratulated for having added another $100M domestic-grossing film to their resume. It has earned $178M worldwide and could reach $200M by the time its run is over.
The only new wide-release movie of the weekend was Bleeker Street’s sci-fi thriller I.S.S., which opened in 7th place with a weekend gross of $3M. It has a clever plot, focusing on a group of American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts working together on the International Space Station. All is well until they realize that war has broken out on Earth.
Both crews are given orders by their commanders to take control of the space station. Reviewers seem to be only half on board, giving it a 62% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Even with a tightly managed production budget of $20M, it will need to generate $50M to reach profitability, a number that seems far, far away after this disappointing opening.
Where Are We as of 1/18
After two full weeks of 2024, the current year’s box office is 90% compared with the same period in 2023 and 71% compared with 2019.