Melissa McCarthy could not save the R-rated puppet murder mystery, Happytime Murders, which was killed at the box office upon its debut this weekend.
While the fur was flying on screen, no one was pulling the strings of the audience to get them into the theaters, it appears, as the Brian Henson-directed film earned a dismal $10 million on opening day, according to Deadline Hollywood.
The fantasy film that mixed Sesame Street-styled puppets with real-life actors centered on a hard-boiled, but cotton-stuffed puppet private detective tasked with tracking the deaths of several puppet friends. He joins the Los Angeles Police Department as a consultant, and with the help of human police detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy), they set out to solve the murder mystery.
The film grabbed the spotlight early before its debut when children’s TV giant Sesame Street launched legal action against the film for its tagline “No Sesame. All Street.”
The Happytime producers won the legal battle and the film was able to go forward using the tagline. But it looks like Sesame Street had nothing to worry about as the box office beat the stuffing out of the film, anyway. While the concept may have seemed promising, audiences were less than thrilled.
The film marks the worst debut for star Melissa McCarthy — even lower than her previous bomb, Life of the Party, which earned only $17.9 million.