Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Enjoys Crazy Great Hold; 'Happytime Murders' Jailed

'The Happytime Murders' will mark the worst opening of Melissa McCarthy's career in a lead role; 'A.X.L.' bombing as Global Road faces bankruptcy.

Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians is doing crazy great business in its second box-office outing.

The rom-com grossed $7 million on Friday from 3,516 theaters for a revised weekend gross of $23 million-$26 million — almost on par with what the Warner Bros. pic earned in its first weekend and one of the best holds in modern times for a rom-com. If it comes in at $25 million, that would mean a 6 percent drop; if the tally is $26 million, that would rep a 2 percent dip. The film's domestic total through Friday is $58.8 million.

Crazy Rich Asians — groundbreaking for featuring an all-Westernized Asian cast — is easily slaying STXfilms' new R-rated comedy, The Happytime Murders, which looks to open to a muted $10 million-$11 million after getting slapped with a C- CinemaScore from auds and earning dismal reviews. That would mark Melissa McCarthy's worst start for a film in which she has top billing.

Happytime Murders grossed $3.9 million Friday from 3,256 locations, including $950,000 in Thursday previews. The film, directed by Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, follows a private puppet detective (Bill Barretta) who reteams with his former human partner (McCarthy) to solve the murder of his brother by a serial killer who is now targeting the castmembers of a former TV show.

The film's budget was $40 million.

The Meg, likewise from Warners, placed No. 3 on Friday with $3.3 million from 4,031 theaters. The shark pic is expected to overtake Happytime Murders on Saturday and place No. 2 for the weekend with $12 million as it jumps the $100 million mark domestically in its third outing.

As summer 2018 winds down, the major Hollywood studios are sitting out the weekend in terms of new U.S. releases.

The only other new nationwide offering is Global Road's A.X.L. The family adventure is tracking to open to a lowly $2.5 million-$3 million in another box-office blow for Global Road, where lenders took control of the financially strapped film studio earlier this week. It's possible the mini-studio — less than a year old — could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as early as next week.

A.X.L. tells the story of a military robotic dog who, after an experiment gone wrong, is found hiding in the desert by a civilian (Alex Neustaedter), who activates its owner-pairing technology and must protect the robot from the scientists who created him. Becky G., Alex MacNicoll, Dominc Rains and Thomas Jane also star in A.X.L., which was directed by Oliver Daly. The film wasn't screened in advance for reviewers.

Overseas, Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp is making headlines in China, where it posted a stellar opening-day gross of $23 million-$24 million on Friday. That's the fourth-best showing of any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War.

China and Japan (Aug. 31) are Ant-Man's final foreign markets. The sequel's global tally is presently $471.5 million, excluding Friday's estimated take in China.

Aug. 25, 12:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
Aug. 26, 7:10 a.m. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.