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The New Mean Girls Is The Rare Case Where The Critics Scores Are Higher Than The Fans

 Renee Rapp as Regina in Mean Girls.
Renee Rapp as Regina in Mean Girls.

Dear readers, the 2024 movie schedule has already landed itself a pink, plastic unicorn. While you may have read our Mean Girls review and thought that the many critical reactions that found this movie to be a total joy would be the norm, audiences seem to differ to a certain extent. And that fact has presented itself in a rare occurrence, as critics scores for this new musical spin have actually outweighed those of the fans.

This seems like news after Mean Girls’ musical first box office weekend, which undoubtedly was achieved thanks to fans of the 2004 original flocking to theaters alongside eager newbies/Reneé Rapp stans. So imagine the surprise when the critical reaction landed the picture a 71% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes but, at the time of this writing, the Audience Score is sitting at a 67%. Admittedly, it’s not that big of a difference, so it’s news that’s neither fetch nor grotsky.

Naturally, both of these metrics could change in the near future. As more critics file reviews and more fans head to the movies, the fate of directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.’s would-be blockbuster can still be rewritten. At the same time, with the amount of critic and audience scores that have been tallied at this point, it probably won’t be a huge swing in either direction. And to be honest, it's not all that disappointing, as that 67% would still be counted as "fresh."

It’s still weird to see this happen, as past cases like the RT reaction to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania have shown moviegoers to be more forgiving than their professional counterparts. Then again, the Lindsay Lohan-led original is a cult classic, and one that’s so beloved in the pop culture landscape that it led to that Mean Girls Walmart ad in 2023.

So those that were scouting out the best Mean Girls 2024 easter eggs may be part of the contingent that wasn’t as won over as fans of this new spin. Not to mention, there’s also the issue of the movie not being sold as a musical in its marketing; which has led to a rather infamous reaction video floating around.

We won’t be sharing that clip here, because copyright (duh). However, if you haven’t seen it yourself, just know that one early showing saw the transition into the song “Stupid In Love” met with groans and laughs.

After noting that critics have been kinder to Regina George’s latest reign of terror than the fans have, it’s going to be very interesting to track how this is reflected in the weeks to come. Though Mean Girls 2.0 has been estimated to have a production budget of $36 million, domestic grosses alone are estimated to be clocking in at $32 million, according to the New York Times.

Worldwide, the publication reports an estimated $130 mil. might be in the cards. Those numbers already look pretty rosy, but this is Hollywood we’re talking about here. With unreported costs like advertising and distribution factoring into Paramount's own lofty expectations, who knows where the limit to success is set?

Putting monetary gain aside, how Mean Girls: The Remake: The Musical sticks with this new generation will be the true test. And that's something you can't totally measure at the moment, as time needs to pass to see how it all shakes out. After all, if fetch can finally happen after 20 years, who's to say that this version of Cady Heron's life-changing journey won't catch on in the same way?

If you haven’t already seen Mean Girls’ 2024 remake, you can still catch it in theaters and judge for yourself. But if you just want to go back in time 20 years and cheer on Glen Coco, you can return to the past with the original film by streaming it with a Paramount+ subscription.