I would have told someone they were crazy if they told me that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ would make almost as much in its second weekend as it did its first, but that’s exactly what happened. The John M. Chu romantic comedy, featuring an all-Asian and Asian-American cast, made $25 million in its sophomore frame, compared to the already impressive $26.5M haul it generated last weekend. That’s down 6% week-to-week which is almost unprecedented. The last movie to hold better was ‘Forrest Gump’ in 1994, which only slipped 1.5% week-to-week.
Asian Americans are treating this movie like African Americans treated ‘Black Panther’, with many going to see it multiple times. Also like ‘Black Panther’, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is drawing people that rarely, if ever, go see movies in theaters, the 60+ demographic. But older Asian Americans are coming out for a film the likes of which they probably never thought they’d see in their lifetime.
With ‘The Meg’ hanging in at #2, for a second weekend, Warner Brothers has the Top Two movies at the box office. Worldwide, ‘The Meg’ has made over $400M. This weekend, it made an additional $12.2M, inching closer to $100M domestic.
Melissa McCarthy’s star appears to be in free fall. STX’s ‘The Happytime Murders’ marks her lowest wide opening ever– a dismal $10M– even lower than May’s ‘Life of the Party’. Raunchy comedies, in general, are not as attractive as they used to be, as so many straight-to-streaming movies are comedies, whether they are raunchy or romantic. With so much competition, ticket buyers don’t want to pay for a mid-budget comedy when they can pay the same price for a big budget CGI spectacle.
Audiences hate it. It has a C- CinemaScore. And critics also weren’t kind, as its Rotten Tomatoes average is 24%. According to social media monitor RelishMix, it’s also not getting much love online as its hashtags and @s are about half those of the average R-rated comedy, meaning no one is talking about it online, so there’s no buzz– positive or negative.
STX didn’t really go to any expense to promote ‘Happytime Murders’. McCarthy is busy finishing her movie ‘Superintelligence’. Neither she, nor costar Elizabeth Banks were available to promote it, but considering that the late night talk shows are all on hiatus, it’s not like they had many outlets available. Since McCarthy and Banks were busy, STX didn’t even hold a premiere. STX held test screenings for this movie. Considering the lousy CinemaScore, it’s also likely that test audiences felt the same and STX didn’t want to go to the effort and expense to sell a movie they already knew had no shot at success.
But as one insider griped:
“Stars could have been available. Conflicts occur on every picture, and the stars here wanted to distance themselves from promoting ‘Happytime Murders’.“
‘The Happytime Murders’ has been floating in development hell for years. At one point, it seemed that this movie would never get made, but when ‘Ted’, a raunchy comedy featuring Mark Wahlberg and a foul-mouthed teddy bear voiced by Seth McFarlane, became a hit, STX became determined to deliver ‘Happytime Murders’, but now it’s clear that they probably shouldn’t have bothered.
While Warner Brothers is ruling the top of the chart, STX is languishing. In addition to ‘The Happytime Murders’, the Mark Wahlberg action flick ‘Mile 22’ is also bombing hard. It has now made $25M total. Which is how much ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ made this weekend alone.
- Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Brothers) – $25M
- The Meg (Warner Brothers) – $12.2M
- The Happytime Murders (STX) – $10M
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount/Skydance) – $8M
- Mile 22 (STX) – $5.9M
While some studios unleash movies that really deliver in August, like WB and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, it’s also one of those times of year when studios dump the crap they know will flop. This weekend, that “honor” went to Global Road’s robot dog flick ‘A-X-L’ which took in $2.4M. Next week, the YA sci-fi movie ‘Kin’ might follow that same pattern. But we’ll see…