Happytime Murders, The: Melissa McCarthy as Bakable Star

STX Entertainment, which releases Melissa McCarthy’s latest star vehicle, The Happytime Murders, hopes for a mid-teens box-office opening when the black comedy launches across 3,224 locations this weekend.

Comparisons are made with Seth Rogen’s R-rated animated comedy “Sausage Party.” Rogen’s film became a massive box office hit, picking up $140 million off a $19 million production budget.  But The Happytime Murders bears twice as big price, about $40 million.

The movie is set in the underbelly of Los Angeles, a world where humans and puppets coexist.  McCarthy plays an LAPD detective, who re-teams with her former puppet partner to solve a series of brutal murders.
All the elements are manifest, sex, offensive puppet jokes, bawdy humor, murder, and McCarthy snorting something through Twizzlers–sort of how puppets might behave behind closed doors.
Brian Henson, who supervised numerous “Muppets” movies, directed the R-rated picture, which also stars such reliable thesps as Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks.