Melissa McCarthy's 'The Happytime Murders' has been a disaster at the box office, and made less than every single Muppet movie

STX Entertainment‘The Happytime Murders.’
  • “The Happytime Murders” has only taken in $US20.6 million domestically. That’s less than any of the Muppet movies that were released theatrically (counting inflation).
  • The Jim Henson Company, which produced all the Muppet movies, also produced “Happytime Murders.”
  • We look back on the domestic performance of all the Muppet movies.

“The Happytime Murders” had Melissa McCarthy starring, the son of Jim Henson at the helm, and a hilarious trailer – but none of that seemed to matter.

The really raunchy puppet movie was slaughtered by critics (it has a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and has only earned $US20.6 million in the US since its August 24 opening ($US24.5 million worldwide).

The weak box-office coin makes it one of the lowest-earning wide releases of the 2018 summer. But that’s not all. It also didn’t make close to what any of the Muppet movies that had a theatrical release took in domestically (even “Muppets Most Wanted”).

It’s a real black eye for the movie’s production company, The Jim Henson Company (“Happytime Murders” director Brian Henson, son of Jim, is its chairman), which decided to take a risk and make a puppet movie without its cash-cow Muppet characters, and paid the price.

“Great trailer, disappointing film,” Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, said to Business Insider summing up the movie’s performance. “‘Happytime Murders’ would have been better off mimicking the Muppets we know and love.”

Here’s a look at the box office performance (counting inflation) of all eight Muppet movies that were released theatrically:

Note: All box office figures below are from Box Office Mojo.

8. “Muppets From Space” (1999) — $US30.3 million

Columbia Pictures

Unadjusted: $US16.6 million

7. “Muppets Most Wanted” (2014) — $US58 million


Unadjusted: $US51.1 million

6. “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992) — $US61 million

Buena Vista Pictures

Unadjusted: $US27.2 million

5. “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984) — $US70.4 million

TriStar Pictures

Unadjusted: $US26 million

4. “Muppet Treasure Island” (1996) — $US72 million

Buena Vista Pictures

Unadjusted: $US34.3 million

3. “The Great Muppet Caper” (1981) — $US104 million

Universal Pictures

Unadjusted: $US31.2 million

2. “The Muppets” (2011) — $US105 million


Unadjusted: $US89 million

1. “The Muppet Movie” (1979) — $US241 million

Associated Film Distribution

Unadjusted: $US65.2 million

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.