Directed by the husband-wife team Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., the 2024 iteration stars Reneé Rapp as the head “Plastic,” Regina George, and Angourie Rice as her frenemy Cady Heron, who falls under her spell. The film was originally slated for Paramount’s streaming service, but after positive test screenings during the summer the studio chose to take the film to theaters. (Paramount opted for a similar route with “Smile” in 2022, a meme-generating horror film that grossed $106 million domestically, and “80 for Brady,” which the studio released last February.)

The decision to put the movie in theaters cost the studio an estimated $20 million for marketing, primarily dedicated to spending on online promotions. In addition to the TikTok stunt, Paramount partnered with Uber to offer free rides to the movies for teen girls; an Instagram takeover with Auliʻi Cravalho, the actress who reprises the role of Janis; special Snapchat lenses and filters; a YouTube video of the teen heartthrob Chris Briney playing with puppies; and crucially, trailer placement in front of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.”

“I feel like the team has had a very clear understanding of all the different types of audience they were trying to reach and where to find them,” Ms. Fey said. “My friend’s daughter received a notification from Uber last Wednesday saying teens get two free rides to ‘Mean Girls’ in theaters this weekend. And I thought, Wow, Paramount has been thorough.”

So thorough in fact that a majority of people who showed up to the theater were women, ages 18 to 34. The movie didn’t reach many women older than that, including those who probably saw the film when they were young. This, to Paramount’s president of domestic distribution, suggests the film has room to grow.

“The over-45 crowd was only 7 percent. Only 10 percent was 35 to 44,” Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution, said. “So I think there’s an opportunity here for us to serve that older audience.”

Mr. Weinstock, for one, is certain a wide swath of ages will show up for the movie. “They’re fans of the franchise,” he said. “They’re seeing this and saying, ‘Oh, I love my ‘Mean Girls.’ This looks fetch.’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *