It’s official: Crazy Rich Asians is a huge hit.
The movie hit theatres on August 15 and has already banked $34 million at the box office since opening, according to the Los Angeles Times. Over the weekend alone, Crazy Rich Asians brought in $25.2 million, making it the top-grossing film of the weekend.
And it didn’t just do well compared to the other movies currently in theatres. Variety reported that the movie, which is based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, is the first romantic comedy since Amy Schumer’s 2015 hit, Trainwreck, to open with more than $20 million.
Before it even opened, it was clear that Crazy Rich Asians — the first major studio film in more than 25 years to feature an all-Asian and Asian-American cast — was an important win for representation, and the impact of that representation has already been seen in the matter of just a few days.
But this box office news also underscores the fact that audiences of all ethnicities and from all communities are more than ready for diverse, inclusive movies — a point that has been continuously made the past couple years, with movies like Black Panther and Get Out also pulling in record numbers at the box office. Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ distribution chief, told the Los Angeles Times that of the audience members who saw Crazy Rich Asians this weekend, 38% were Asian, 41% were white, 11% were Latino, and 6% were African American.
“This shows — once again, with emphasis — that true diversity matters,” Brad Simpson, a CRA producer told The New York Times. “Audiences are tired of seeing the same stories with the same characters. And we have to give people a reason to get off their couch or devices. We have to give them something different.”
The movie’s director, Jon M. Chu, responded to the box office success with a series of tweets on Sunday. “The fact that we had never shared a communal experience of joy, laughter and emotions at the movies like this has been an injustice. But now we have. And there's no going back. #CrazyRichAsians is the number 1 movie in America," he wrote in one tweet.
"America fell in love w/our kickass all-Asian cast of many different background, styles, shapes, sizes ages…& blew the lid off the expectation at 34 million dollars since we were released. Truly a #GoldOpen . Thank u! I feel very lucky to be a small part of this giant movement,” he added in another.
“We were PROUD to be together not hiding in the corner,” he continued in his thread. “And we were surrounded by people of ALL communities out to support us! How amazing is that?!! The greatness of America happening right in front of our eyes at our local movie theaters. It made me so emotional all weekend.”
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