‘The Meg’ Still Swimming Upstream; ‘Happytime Murders’ Leaves No One Smiling at Box Office

by Nick Banks

Who knew that that dang giant shark would have legs (or fins I guess) at the box office!  The gonzo shark movie finished second at the weekend box office for the second straight week, netting another $13 million for a grand total of $105 million on the domestic front.

The budget for The Meg was rather high (north of $130 million) and this fact lead many box office prognosticators to doubt the film’s profit potential, but due to a shrewd marketing campaign, little competition during the month of August, and Megalodon-sized return overseas, The Meg is one of the biggest surprises of the year so far.

The Meg (a joint production between Warner Brothers, China Media Capital and TVB) was designed to appeal to Asian audiences with some home grown stars and gaudy CGI-effects and the film has taken in over $300 million at the international box office to date (with $117 million coming from China).  At this point, it wouldn’t surprise many if the unlikely hit reaches close to $500 million at the worldwide box office.

In sadder news, Melissa McCarthy’s The Happytime Murders left theaters and audiences empty inside, making a paltry $10 million in its first weekend, the lowest opening of McCarthy’s career (in films that she has headlined).  HappyTime currently sits at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and also received a dreadful C- Cinemascore, explaining why the adult muppets comedy didn’t fare well, despite opening in 3,256 theaters this week.

Don’t look now, but Slenderman has actually turned a relatively sizable profit for a low budget horror film.  The Creepy Pasta inspired film has climbed its way up to $25 million dollars, even with a terrible reception by critics and fans.  This phenomenon is more about the lack of horror offerings this summer than the film itself, but with little to no money spent on marketing and a series of missteps and controversy,  the scary meme will make more than some higher budgeted duds at the box office (such as the aforementioned Happytime Murders which cost in excess of $40 million to produce).

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more box office updates and our annual Fall Movie Preview later this week.

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