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The success of Crazy Rich Asians at the box office in its first week solidified the novel adaptation as a rare hit. Not only did the film make romantic comedies cool again with the box office, but it's a huge win for inclusion and diversity, as it is the first Asian-led release in 25 years. Crazy Rich Asians earned the top spot at the box office in its first weekend, edging out The Meg, which saw a huge opening the week before, along with reigning over other new releases Mile 22 and Alpha. With the Melissa McCarthy-led comedy The Happytime Murders entering theaters this Friday, will Crazy Rich Asians still be sitting pretty at the top of box office numbers?
According to estimates by Deadline, Crazy Rich Asians could continue to rule box office numbers, even with the addition of a few raunchy puppets in the mix with The Happytime Murders, along with expected drops in theater attendance as the summer movie season ends. Crazy Rich Asians made $44.4 million domestically in its first week, and is expected to lead with $16 to $18 million in theaters this weekend, per early theater tracking. Newcomer The Happytime Murders, on the other hand, had an estimated budget of $40 million and is currently tracking to make $13 to $15 million this weekend, with the potential to bring in up to $17 million if it over performs.
Melissa McCarthy's latest R-rated comedy has the actress teaming up with a private-eye puppet to investigate the killings of the cast of puppets from an '80s children's television show. As the movie's trailers have teased, the film, directed by Jim Henson's son Brian Henson, is going for a rather raunchy tone, despite characters who look straight out of the The Muppets. The most recent Muppets movie didn't far well at the box office, but it was a much more family friendly project. Conversely, Happytime Murders is aiming to draw in a mature crowd. The Happytime Murders also has McCarthy on their side, skewing in a potential adult female audience. Although her prior release Life of the Party opened at just $17.9 million at its opening in May, losing audiences to Avengers: Infinity War, which was in its third week and made a total of $52.8 million domestically.
Early reviews for The Happytime Murders are widely unkind, with a Rotten Tomato score of 32%, with some critics admit it brings forth filthy laughs, most did not recommend the film to audiences. Crazy Rich Asians however, received high acclaim from critics and audiences alike, being praised for its talented cast, story, cultural impact and positive representation for the Asian community. With its success, it has already been confirmed that the rom-com will get a sequel. If Crazy Rich Asians makes the big bucks this weekend too, it will close out a strong 2018 summer box office season, which has recently passed $4 billion domestically, after 2017's 25-year low.