Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut

Movie still from Crazy Rich Asians showing Sonoya Mizuno walking down the aisle in a wedding dressImage copyright
Warner Brothers

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is seen as a turning point for Asian representation in Hollywood

Crazy Rich Asians beat expectations to take the top spot at the US box office on its opening weekend.

The Warner Brothers film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding is the first romantic comedy in three years to take the top spot.

Since it opened five days ago, the film – which cost $30m to produce – has made $34m at the box office.

It is the first Hollywood film since the The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast.

Adapted from Kevin Kwan’s best-seller, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an Asian-American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend’s ultra-wealthy family in Singapore.

Analysts have said its universal themes and entertainment value proved popular with moviegoers.

‘Culturally significant’

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Brothers head of domestic distribution, said word of mouth had been key to the film’s success.

“This movie is so culturally significant and so unique in that there hasn’t been a cast that’s predominately Asian [in years]. This is one of those few projects that a whole studio comes together with lots of passion.”

Seen as a turning point for on-screen representation, high profile, affluent Asian-Americans started a social media movement known as the #GoldOpen campaign.

The campaign offered free screenings across the US to promote the film and raise awareness about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood.

The film’s weekend box office success appears to validate the filmmakers’ decision to turn down a lucrative Netflix deal in favour of a riskier cinema release through a Hollywood studio.

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