Crazy Rich Asians have struck gold at the North American box office with a record-setting $25.3 million (£19.8 million) weekend launch. The movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling book of the same name is already the first major Hollywood production to boast an almost all-Asian line-up in 25 years, since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club, and now the Warner Bros. production is making box office history, too, after beating industry expectations.
Its impressive haul is the biggest debut for a romantic comedy since Amy Schumer’s 2015 release Trainwreck, which grossed $30.1 million (£23.6 million) in its opening weekend. The film stars Constance Wu as an Asian-American woman who experiences a huge culture shock as she travels to Singapore with her boyfriend and meets his incredibly wealthy family for the first time.
BBC travel presenter Henry Golding makes his acting debut portraying her love interest, while Michelle Yeoh plays his overbearing mother. Ken Jeong, Awkwafina, and Gemma Chan also feature in the cast. Crazy Rich Asians was released in North America on Wednesday, August 16 – giving the project a five-day tally of $34 million (£26.7 million) – in the hopes of benefitting from word of mouth, and director Jon M. Chu is encouraging film fans to continue spreading the word so Hollywood bosses will be more inclined to finance more diverse movies going forward.
“We still have a long run to go but our message to the world has been heard. We have arrived,” Chu declared on Twitter on Sunday, August 19, as he celebrated the box office news. “Now let’s go tell more of our stories! We have a lot more to say. And I don’t want to wait another 25 years to see them. This is only the beginning”.
6/Keep spreading the word. We still have a long run to go but our message to the world has been heard. We have arrived. Now let’s go tell more of our stories! We have a lot more to say. And I don’t want to wait another 25 years to see them. This is only the beginning.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) August 19, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians bumps last week’s top film, The Meg, down to second place with $21.6 million (£16.9 million), while Mark Wahlberg’s latest action movie, Mile 22, falls short of expectations to enter at three, grossing $13.6 million (£10.7 million).
Meanwhile, The Meg is still making waves outside North America, chasing down another $67 million (£52.5 million) to hold on to the top spot in the international box office, helping the Jason Statham shark thriller swim past the $300 million (£235 million) milestone worldwide.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for August 17-19:
- “Crazy Rich Asians” – $25.2 million
- “The Meg” – $21.1 million
- “Mile 22” – $13.6 million
- “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” – $10.5 million
- “Alpha” – $10.5 million
- “Christopher Robin” – $8.9 million
- “BlacKkKlansman” – $7 million
- “Slender Man” – $4.9 million
- “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” – $3.7 million
- “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” – $3.4 million