Weekend BO Report: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Mirrors Opening In Historic Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

Hands up – who said ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ would gross a sub-$20m second weekend? Well, they (we) were dead wrong, because the romantic-comedy, starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Awkwafina, dropped just 6% to earn $24.8m from Friday to Saturday, after it’s opening last weekend of $26.5m.

It’s a weekend fall that marks the 3rd smallest ever for a wide release (in over 3,000 cinemas, not in December, and not during an American holiday weekend, mind you) behind 2011s ‘Puss in Boots’ and 2003s ‘Brother Bear’, and leaves the film on a domestic gross after 2 weekends of $76.6m. The opening weekend multiplier already stands at 2.90x, and will only grow as the film continues to benefit from good reviews, a stellar cast, and strong word of mouth.

The question on the industry’s lips now is: just how far can this thing go? With the U.S. celebrating Labor Day next Monday, the first September weekend itself is notorious for low drops, giving ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ more room to grow. Gone are the comparisons with ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ and in come the estimates alongside award-winning drama ‘The Help’, which finished on a remarkable $169.7m. It takes a brave somebody to bet against ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ beating that target.

Warner Bros. will be equally happy with the performance of ‘The Meg’, which earned $12.8m to breach the $100m domestic total. Its $411.6m global total so far is just $15m away from another WB monster-flick ‘Rampage’, and a $500m total looks nailed on as weeks go by.

Not all studios can say they’re having such a good year however, as both STX and Global Road faltered this weekend with their releases. While Melissa McCarthy’s ‘The Happytime Murders’ saw a career-low opening for her as lead with just $9.5m, Global Road’s ‘A.X.L.’ brought in just $2.8m off a $10m budget.

The former continues the downward-trend in the openings of R-rated comedies this year, after ‘Blockers’ ($20.6m), ‘Super Troopers 2’ ($15.2m), ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), and ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ ($12.1m) in recent months. Its $40m budget draws similarities to 2017s ‘The House’, starring Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell, which opened to $8.7m and finished on $26.5m in the U.S. Although ‘The Happytime Murders’ looks to slightly improve on this, its C- on Cinemascore practically ensures it’ll flop, meaning another poor financial showing for STX. It’s last release, ‘Mile 22’, only just reached $25m domestically after a $6.4m weekend.

Meanwhile, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ is just $6m away from $200m in the U.S. after its $8.1m weekend. Its current worldwide total of $538.8m puts it just behind ‘M:I2’ as the 4th biggest in the franchise so far. ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s $6.3m gross put it just ahead of ‘Alpha’ ($6m), ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($5.1m), and ‘Slender Man’ ($2.8m).

How far can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ go? Could it hit a $200m domestic total? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Strike Gold Again As ‘The Happytime Murders’ Can’t Muster A Smile

Written by Dapo Olowu

It won’t be a joyous affair for ‘The Happytime Murders’ this weekend, as Jon Chu’s rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, based on the bestselling 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, looks to kill any chance of being overthrown. A sub-$20m gross will take pole position for the first time since February, when ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s $10.9m was enough to hold off competition from ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ and ‘Winchester’.

It draws similarities to last year’s drab August finish; just 12 months ago, ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ needed just $10.3m to top the worst Box Office weekend in 15 years – this time around, we’re a little luckier, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ aims to flash the cash with a total close to $17m, a few days after Warner Bros. announced a sequel is in works.

Melissa McCarthy’s second comedy of the year in ‘The Happytime Murders’ on the other hand, is a sad sight. The R-rated Sesame Street ‘adaptation’ pales in critical comparison to similar movies, as its 29% on the Tomatometer can’t hold a candle to ‘Team America: World Police’s 77%, or ‘Sausage Party’s 82%, let alone ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s 97% (or even ‘Space Jam’s 38%).

It doesn’t help that its lead is unpredictable when opening at the Box Office: for every ‘The Heat’ ($39.1m off $43m), Melissa McCarthy’s had a ‘Life of the Party’ ($17.9m off $30m) meaning this $40m comedy is anything but a guaranteed success.

It’s directed by ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ and ‘Muppet Treasure Island’ director Brian Henson (son of Muppets creators Jim & Jane Henson), and stars McCarthy alongside Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, and Joel McHale. Set in a world where puppets and humans co-exist, Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) aims to find a serial killer murdering cast members of the 1980s show ‘The Happytime Gang’.

Recent R-rated comedies (from ‘Game Night’ to ‘The Spy Who Dumped Mecomes to mind) have all opened in the low-to-mid-teens region, and it’s likely that ‘The Happytime Murders’ uniqueness in its puppetry won’t give it a helping hand (nor will its 3,224 cinema count), with a $14.5m gross on the cards. This will be followed by Jason Statham-led ‘The Meg’, which should (barring a freak collapse) make it over the $100m domestic mark this weekend by earning $10.8m.

One film that won’t even get close to that number is ‘Mile 22’, looking to muster some dignity in its second weekend after its poor $13.7m showing 7 days ago. A $6.9m gross will be enough to put it ahead of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ ($6.5m), ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($5.8m), and fellow second-weekender ‘Alpha’ ($5.3m). ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is already Focus Features’ biggest film of the year both domestically and worldwide, and looks to build on its $30m global gross with a weekend earning of around $5m, beating ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’s $2.4m.

Finally, this weekend is rounded off by the second new wide release of the weekend, ‘A.X.L’ In a market inundated with franchises and remakes, it’s lovely to see an original family-adventure film about a dog made from top-grade military tech. The film stars Thomas Jane and Alex Neustaedter, and will only open in approximately 1,600 cinemas. Global Road, whose torrid time this year in the Box Office (think Show Dogs’, ‘Midnight Sun’, andHotel Artemis’) has culminated in being partly taken over by its creditors, are looking to complete its flop-quadrant with an opening around $2m.

It’s looking like being a close weekend between the top 2, so can ‘The Happytime Murders’ spring an upset, or will ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ hold onto first place? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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