Crazy Rich Asians Trounce Happytime Murders

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Better to be crazy and rich than happy, apparently. At least when it comes to movie titles.

Crazy Rich Asians cruised to its second-straight box-office victory in a style befitting its title. The sweet, sassy romcom wooed moviegoers out of an estimated $25 million, nearly twice the haul of its nearest competitor. The film showed some incredible holdover power too, losing just 5.7% of its weekend-to-weekend audience. Box Office Mojo said its second-week drop was “one of the smallest of all time,” which suggests this movie is not just getting richer by the day, but is also crazy like a fox.

Who else had a happy weekend at the box office? Well, the gigantic prehistoric shark sure looked like it was grinning from earhole to earhole this weekend. (Or is that just the way the shark’s mouth was made? I was never good at prehistoric biology). The Meg, featuring said shark (with an assist from Jason Statham), landed another $13 million to push its overall catch past the $100 million mark in North America ($105.3 mil, if you must know). But it’s even a bigger fish in international waters, netting $303.3 million of chum overseas.

Also happy: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which earned $8 million to finish fourth and push its total domestic gross to $193.9 million. It’s just about to pass 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as the franchise’s third-most-lucrative entry, and it might just pass the other two before it’s done.

Winnie-the-Pooh almost always seems happy, but he must’ve been particularly pleased with the holding power of Christopher Robin, Disney’s delightful live-action update of this beloved franchise. It unobtrusively gathered another $6.3 million, bringing its overall honeypot to $77.6 million to close out the top five.

Stuck smack-dab in the middle of the top five this weekend, you’ll find The Happytime Murders, which had a distinctly unhappy weekend. The movie’s foul-mouthed, sex-addled puppets (oh, and Melissa McCarthy, too) hoped to make a killing at the box office. Alas (for them), the only thing they killed was moviegoers’ collective sense of innocence and 90 minutes of their collective lives. The film earned $10 million—a figure below even the most dour predictions—and most of those who saw it kinda hated the thing: It received an abysmal “C-” audience reaction from CinemaScore, and anything below a “B” is considered pretty terrible.

You know, if puppet creator Brian Henson had just asked us whether the world was interested in watching puppets swear and have sex, we could’ve saved everyone a lot of trouble. Still, Happytime did perform better than the weekend’s other major new release. The PG-rated robotic dog movie A-X-L brought in just $2.9 million to finish way down in ninth place.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Chuck Anziulewicz 23 days ago

I went to see "Crazy Rich Asians" yesterday and really enjoyed it, although it was a bit difficult to wrap my brain around such wealth and affluence. There was a good story there, and the film was very smartly produced.



Rocketshipper 23 days ago
I wouldn't be surprised is Moviepass in some way is affecting the box office of some movies.  just recently they started to limit the movies and showtimes available from their service, with movies changing daily.  Since it's release I think AXL has only been an offered movie on two separate days, neither of them big weekend days.  if the movie moviepass subscribers want to see isn't showing up they might just not go to a movie at all, and that could be depressing box office returns.  Assuming there are really still enough people subscribed ^^
Natalie L 24 days ago
I feel like A-X-L should be doing way better than the Happytime Murders. But maybe that's just me. Also, I've noticed that Bobed isn't showing up anymore. Where did he go??
Anonymous 24 days ago
He got banned reportedly
Anonymous 24 days ago
To be honest, I personally didn't think that A-X-L looked all that interesting. It seemed (to me at least) like a typical, live action, PG rated money grab. And I would say a similar thing about Happytime. Both are catering to a very small audience, preteens in the case of AXL, and adults with juvenile humor in the case of Happytime. So it honestly doesn't surprise me that neither are doing that well at the box-office. 
-Davidiswise The Clown
B Evans 24 days ago
Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the whole world - Napoleon
Anonymous 24 days ago
I'm not surprised The Happytime Murders aren't doing that well, since the previews made it seem like South Park meets Beavis and Butthead but not nearly as clever.
Anonymous 24 days ago
I'm flabbergasted Christopher Robin continues to do so well at the box office. Maybe it's just me, but I still can't get over the way they turned my beloved animated characters into little stuffed animals with faded colors and all. Seriously, Tigger looks like he's been through the wash dozens of times, he looks so washed out it's ridiculous.
charitysplace 24 days ago
It's doing well because it's a touching story of returning to your childlike innocence and wonder.

I still have my stuffed raccoon -- my favorite toy -- from when I was a child, and he has those same washed out, faded colors. That's what 30+ years of love, holding, rubbing, and cuddling does to a toy.
Anonymous 23 days ago
I still have stuffed animals too, lots of them all over my bed, but that doesn't mean characters in a movie should look like that. Peter Rabbit and Paddington sure don't look as ugly and washed out as Pooh and the gang do in this movie. But obviously I'm the only one who thinks they should have looked better than they do.
Anonymous 21 days ago
The animated characters are based on real stuffed animals that belonged to the real Christopher Robin, and the movie copied the look of those stuffed animals almost exactly (except for Piglet, whose real life version is in pretty poor condition and is a slightly strange design to begin with). I just got to see the real stuffed animals a few weeks ago on display in the New York City Public Library and it was really cool to see them "come alive" in the movie.
Anonymous 25 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

If The Happytime Murdurers has changed their title just a bit and instead called it The Killing Joke, it may have been more successful.

(Yes, I’m aware this pun is stretched a little, but hey, work with what you have.)