BOX OFFICE

Overview of recent box office releases

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)
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)


NEW YORK -- On a quiet weekend in movie theaters, "Mean Girls" repeated atop the box office with $11.7 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, while a handful of awards contenders sought to make an impact ahead of Oscar nominations, which came out Tuesday.

With a dearth of new releases in cinemas, Paramount Pictures' Tina Fey-scripted musical "Mean Girls" pushed its two-week total past $50 million, along with $16.2 million internationally. So far, it's outpacing the tally for the 2004 original "Mean Girls."

Only one new film debuted in wide release: "I.S.S.," a modestly budgeted sci-fi thriller starring Ariana DeBose. The film, which speculates what would happen aboard the International Space Station if war broke out between the United States and Russia, debuted with $3 million on 2,518 screens for Bleecker Street. (The plot is quite similar to "2010: The Year We Make Contact," which was released in 1984.)

Expectations weren't high for "I.S.S.," which drew only so-so reviews and was lightly marketed. Audiences also didn't like it, giving the film a "C-" CinemaScore.

But even for January, historically a low ebb for moviegoing, it was a sparsely attended weekend, with paltry options on the big screen. The top 10 films collectively accounted for just $51.3 million in box office, according to Comscore.

With a similarly thin release schedule on deck for this weekend, it could be the start of a chastening trend for Hollywood in 2024. Due to production delays caused by last year's strikes, there are significant holes throughout this year's movie calendar.

The Jason Statham thriller "The Beekeeper," from Amazon MGM Studios, remained in second place, grossing $8.5 million in its second weekend to bring its total to $31.1 million. Warner Bros. "Wonka," six weeks into its smash run in theaters, was third, with $6.4 million in ticket sales. It has taken in $187.2 million domestically.

Also continuing to leg out was Columbia Pictures' "Anyone But You." The rom-com starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, crossed $100 million globally in its fifth week of release. It's the highest grossing R-rated romantic comedy -- a genre that has largely migrated to streaming platforms -- since 2016's "Bridget Jones's Baby." Domestically, it came in fourth with $5.4 million.

Much of the weekend's action was in expanding awards contenders.

After a qualifying release in December, Ava DuVernay's "Origin," starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as the "Caste" author Isabel Wilkerson, launched in 125 theaters and pulled in $875,000 -- a strong start for the acclaimed film.

Yorgos Lanthimos' dark fantasy "Poor Things," starring Emma Stone, added 820 theaters and grossed $2 million from 1,400 locations. The Searchlight Pictures release, which won the Golden Globe for best comedy-musical, has earned $33.7 million globally in seven weeks of slowly expanding release.

Cord Jefferson's "American Fiction," starring Jeffrey Wright as a frustrated novelist, expanded to 850 screens and pulled in $1.8 million. "American Fiction" is up to $8 million in six weeks.

Jonathan Glazer's Auschwitz film "The Zone of Interest" expanded to 82 screens, grossing $447,684 for A24.

But after a strong launch, another awards contender, "The Color Purple," has quickly fallen off the radar of moviegoers. Though widely acclaimed and with the backing of producers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, the Warner Bros. musical has dropped fast in recent weeks. In its fourth week of release, the Blitz Bazawule-directed film starring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks, grossed just $720,000. Its domestic total is $59.3 million, below hopes for the $100-million budgeted film.

  photo  This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Angourie Rice in a scene from "Mean Girls." (Jojo Whilden/Paramount via AP)
 
 
  photo  Jason Statham poses for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of the film 'The Beekeeper' on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in London. (Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)
 
 
  photo  This image released by Neon shows Jon Bernthal, left, and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor in a scene from "Origin." (Atsushi Nishijima/Neon via AP)
 
 


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