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'Mean Girls' dominated the weekend box office even as some moviegoers were 'disappointed' to discover it was a musical

'Mean Girls' dominated the weekend box office even as some moviegoers were 'disappointed' to discover it was a musical
Bebe Wood as Gretchen Wieners, Reneé Rapp as Regina George, and Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Shetty in "Mean Girls."
Bebe Wood as Gretchen Wieners, Reneé Rapp as Regina George, and Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Shetty in "Mean Girls."Jojo Whilden/Paramount
  • "Mean Girls" had a splashy box office debut, earning $28.7 million in its first three days.

  • Its studio deemphasized that it was a musical in marketing to avoid repelling certain moviegoers.

  • While most ticket buyers knew it was a musical, some were "disappointed" by the genre, per Variety.

"Mean Girls" arrived at No. 1 at the North American box office this weekend, earning $28.7 million in its first three days and $33.2 million for the four-day stretch into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, according to studio estimates.

The film, a musical remake of the 2004 Tina Fey comedy of the same name, was a clear hit among females and 18- to 34-year-old moviegoers who represented the bulk of its opening weekend viewers, the Associated Press reported.

But the studio's decision to deemphasize that the film was a musical in certain marketing materials may have confused some attendees, according to exit polls the company shared with Variety.

While 75% of respondents said they knew it was a musical before buying a ticket, "16% left the theater 'disappointed' by the genre," Variety reported. The remaining 9% were neutral about it.

The decision to downplay the musical aspects of the film mirrored similar tactics from studios like Warner Bros. Entertainment, which kept musical details to a minimum in its marketing push for the December release of "Wonka."

For "Mean Girls," the goal was to emphasize the film's comedic aspects rather than its songs to draw in a broader audience, according to Marc Weinstock, Paramount's president of worldwide marketing and distribution.

Weinstock told Variety that "people tend to treat musicals differently" and that "it could be considered a musical but it appeals to a larger audience."

The company didn't avoid musical elements in its marketing entirely. The opening of its first trailer, released in theaters ahead of "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" screenings, began with singing, for example.

The company also added a musical note to the "A" on the film's title.

"There are hints to it without being overbearing," Weinstock said.

Read the original article on Business Insider