New York — The opening weekend for Crazy Rich Asians was historic. Its second weekend was even more impressive.
The romantic comedy sensation slid just 6 percent from its chart-topping debut to again lead the box office with $25m in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Almost as many people turned out over the weekend for Crazy Rich Asians as they did for its opening Friday-to-Sunday bow — an unheard of hold for a non-holiday release. Drops of close to 50 percent are common for wide releases.
But propelled by enthusiastic reviews and an eagerness for a major Hollywood film led by Asian stars, Crazy Rich Asians is showing almost unprecedented legs. After opening last weekend with $35.3m from Wednesday to Sunday and $26.5m over the weekend, the Warner Bros. release — the first Hollywood studio movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast — has already grossed $76.8m.
The adaptation of Kevin Kwan's bestselling novel, starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding, was helped by weak competition. STX Entertainment's critically slammed R-rated puppet caper The Happytime Murders debuted with $10.1m, a career-low wide release for star Melissa McCarthy. The robot-dog fantasy A.X.L., from the beleaguered Global Road Entertainment, flopped with $2.9m.
But the talk of the weekend was the sustained success of Crazy Rich Asians, which grossed approximately the same from one Saturday to the next.
Crazy Rich Asians also expanded internationally, though with a more muted effect. It grossed an estimated $6 million in 18 markets, including $1.8 million on 105 screens in Singapore, where much of the movie is set. Crazy Rich Asians hasn't yet been granted a release in China, where Disney's Ant-Man and the Wasp opened over the weekend and collected $68m, pushing its global gross to $544.1 million.
The Happytime Murders, which cost approximately $40m to make, came into the weekend with some of the worst reviews of the year (22 percent "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes) despite the pedigree of the Jim Henson Company. Brian Henson, the chairman of the company and son of Jim Henson, directed the raunchy Los Angeles detective tale, a kind of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for puppets.
It's the second straight disappointment for STX, which has also seen its Mark Wahlberg thriller Mile 22 underperform. With $6m in its second week, it has been thoroughly trounced by Crazy Rich Asians.
In limited release, the low-budget John Cho-starring thriller Searching landed a $28,000 per-screen average with $250 000 in nine theatres.