Weekend Box Office: The Beekeeper Takes First!

The Jason Statham/ David Ayer hit The Beekeeper has landed in first place in its third week thanks to strong word of mouth.

The weekend numbers are here and with it we are seeing the beginnings of how much the Writers and Actors strikes are going to affect the 2024 box office as there were zero wide new releases. Granted, January is generally a slow time and most studios sit this weekend out due to not wanting to compete with the NFL Championship games, but even last year saw Neon release their Brandon Cronenberg film Infinity Pool while Fathom events knew their faith based audience would show up for Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist.

But let’s not bury the lead: in its third week of release The Beekeeper has pulled off the upset and won the weekend with $7.4 million. That is quite the feat as R rated action films have had a really tough time at the box office in recent years. In our Thursday predictions, we thought the NFL playoffs may keep more action oriented fans away from theaters this weekend, but it appears audiences embraced this bloody tale of revenge. With a budget of just $40 million and a worldwide take in the $90 million range, this little tale of Jason Statham kicking ass has proven to be a solid hit at a time both he and director David Ayer really needed one. I do believe we will be hearing news of a sequel soon, just don’t overcomplicate it, we just want to see Jason Statham kicking the $h!t out of some bad people!

Slipping to second place is Mean Girls with an estimated $7.3 million. That number represents a drop off of 37% from last week while this musical adaptation turns into a solid little money maker for Paramount. The film, that cost just $36 million to produce before marketing, has already amassed around $80 million worldwide. That is a solid number for this remake/ Broadway adaptation. However, I don’t believe when all is said and done it will pass the box office take of the original film which finished its domestic run with just over $86 million and its worldwide run with $130.1 million (which would be $143.1 million domestic and $216.5 million worldwide when adjusted for inflation.)

With The Beekeeper and Mean Girls being moderately priced films that are pulling in solid profits, it just proves yet again how misguided some of these studios have been over the past few years when allowing their tent pole films budgets to get out of hand with underperforming titles such as Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning (Part 1, maybe?!), Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Fast X having budgets in the $300 million range. I love globe trotting action films as much as anyone, but how can you expect a film that must hit a billion dollars in order to see any profit, be successful?!

Spots three through five go to your holiday holdovers with the monster hit that is Wonka again landing in third place with $5.9 million. Since its release, Wonka has not fallen out of the top three at the weekend box office, quite impressive when you consider most films live or die by their opening weekend numbers. Never ever under-estimate the power of making a good movie that people want to see. It is for that reason we are seeing the animated film Migration continue its solid run with another $5.1 million added to its domestic total of $101.2 million while the R rated romantic comedy Anyone But You is seeing the type of legs we haven’t seen for R rated comedies since films like American Pie and Wedding Crashers dominated the charts. This weekend sees the Sydney Sweeney/ Glen Powell hit comedy pulling in another $4.8 million, representing just an 11% decline from last week as that film has not dropped out of the top five since its release over a month ago. With just a $25 million budget and a worldwide gross in the $110 million range, Anyone But You is proving to be one of the more profitable films of 2023.

Despite no new wide releases this weekend, the final week of January is proving to be a solid launching ground for Indiana Language films as last year we saw Pathaan launch on just under 700 screens to nab a $6.8 million weekend at the domestic box office. This year we have the Hindi language film Fighter launching its domestic run with $3.7 million, which may not be as high as last years Pathaan, is still a solid opening weekend number for a film launched in just 662 theaters. As I have always said, when films like these are released (films with targeted audiences) the audience will show up, even if the film in question isn’t getting the best reviews (Fighter currently sits at just 29% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Spots seven and eight go to Poor Things with $3 million and American Fiction with $2.8 million. While Poor Things has seen a steady flow of cash since its release, American Fiction is the film that is seeing the biggest bump from its recent (and very much deserved) Awards nominations including 5 Oscar nominations as the Jeffrey Wright starring film actually gained a massive 65% this weekend, the Oscar bump is alive and well! Both films, in my opinion, deserve all the praise being heaped upon them as they are both very original and beautiful films. I am hopeful Emma Stone can pull off the victory for Best Actress at this years Oscars for her truly transformative performance. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 9/10 review for Poor Things here and his 8/10 review for American Fiction here.

Rounding out the top ten are Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with $2.8 million showing the type of resilience at the box office that other recent DC films did not have proving that Aqauman really was the ace in the hole for the now defunct DCEU while Godzilla Minus One returned to theaters this weekend with a new Black and White version labeled Godzilla Minus One Minus Color where it added another $2.6 million to its stellar $55 million domestic total.

Outside the top ten, but worth noting, is the re-release of Oppenheimer which also saw a bit of an Oscar bump as it was released back into IMAX screens where it garnered a little over $1 million in receipts.

Are you happy to see The Beekeeper finally take its rightful place atop the charts? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check out our weekly poll where we ask: What is your favorite Movie from 1999?

1 The Beekeeper $7.4 M $42.2 M
2 Mean Girls $7.3 M $60.8 M
3 Wonka $5.9 M $195.1 M
4 Migration $5.1 M $101.2 M
5 Anyone But You $4.8 M $71.1 M
6 Fighter $3.7 M $4.3 M
7 Poor things $3.0 M $24.7 M
8 American Fiction $2.89 M $11.8 M
9 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom $2.82 M $118.1 M
10 Godzilla Minus One $2.6 M $55.0 M
Source: Comscore

About the Author

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Brad grew up loving movies and wanting to work in the industry. Graduated from Full Sail University in 2007 before moving to Los Angeles where I was fortunate enough to join SAG-Aftra in 2012. I love every second I get to write about movies for Joblo!