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March 4, 2024

Mixed Reviews for Updated “Mean Girls” Film Adaptation

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Jan 14, 2024

Paramount Pictures’ film adaptation of the Broadway musical version of “Mean Girls” hit theaters this weekend to a mixed critical reception. While some reviewers praised the movie’s talented young cast and catchy musical numbers, others felt it failed to capture the magic of Tina Fey’s 2004 cult classic comedy.

High Hopes Dashed

Expectations were sky-high for the new “Mean Girls” headed into its release, given the popularity of the original film, successful stage musical, and buzz around the movie’s impressive cast of rising young talents like Angourie Rice and Renée Rapp.

However, early reviews indicate the film doesn’t quite live up to hopes. While critics highlighted standout elements like the soundtrack and a handful of solid musical numbers, reactions were lukewarm overall. As summarized by Variety:

“Unfortunately, the parts fail to cohere into an entirely satisfying whole in this overstuffed package that strains to give everyone their moments.”

Cast and Musical Numbers Shine

The breakout performance of lead actress Angourie Rice as new student Cady Heron earned positive marks from most reviewers. The Hollywood Reporter raved that “her girl-next-door charisma and lovely singing voice make her a natural fit.”

Supporting cast members also earned acclaim, including Renée Rapp’s portrayal of queen bee Regina George and Barrett Wilbert Weed’s take on Janis Ian. The musical numbers choreographed by Emmy winner Casey Nicholaw provided additional highlights. IGN summed up the consensus, stating the cast “…nail both the comedic and musical moments.”

Uneven Screenplay and Direction

While reviews praised individual elements like the lead actresses and musical sequences, many critiqued the movie as a whole. Directing team Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. earned mixed marks for their work updating the story. IndieWire called it “disjointed,” and said attempts to make it current ” render it dated.”

The screenplay also felt uneven to some critics. Rolling Stone highlighted this issue, stating:

“The songs generally rise above the connective tissue between them – the screenplay tends to creak rather than crackle…”

Underwhelming Box Office Debut

In addition to mixed reviews, the new “Mean Girls” got off to a rocky start commercially. Against expectations of a $15 million+ domestic opening weekend, the musical took in just $11.3 million in its first three days.

While a respectable haul, it was notably behind the $24.4 million debut of the original “Mean Girls” back in 2004, even without accounting for inflation. Paramount is likely disappointed, having positioned this as a major tentpole release for early 2024.

What’s Next

It remains to be seen whether “Mean Girls: The Musical” can find its footing in subsequent weeks. As a love letter to fans of the high school classic, this new take clearly had difficulty living up to sky-high nostalgic expectations. Yet beyond comparisons to its legendary predecessor, the movie shows flashes of promise that could still win over audiences going forward.

Look to international box office performance and potential staying power on streaming to determine if this remake ultimately reaches hit status after its mild stateside launch. Tina Fey and Paramount certainly hope so, as the door remains open for future films that could build out a “Mean Girls” cinematic universe.

Box Office Performance – Mean Girls Remakes

Movie Domestic Opening Weekend Total Domestic Gross
Mean Girls (2004) $24.4 million $86 million
Mean Girls: The Musical (2024) $11.3 million TBD
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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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