‘Crazy Rich Asians’ did crazy well on its opening weekend, making an unexpected $25.4 million from Friday to Sunday and $34M once Wednesday previews and Thursday are added in. The movie has mainly gotten attention for being the first Hollywood film in 25 years starring a cast made up entirely of Asians and Asian-Americans. But directed by Jon M. Chu, based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan, what’s helping the movie to really succeed is that its family-centric story is universal. Even so, this is a record-breaker for a movie with an Asian-American director and starring an all-Asian cast. Speaking of, the cast of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is headed up by Constance Wu and Henry Golding and includes recognizable faces like Michelle Yeoh (‘Star Trek: Discovery’), Ken Jeong (‘The Hangover’ series), Gemma Chan (the upcoming ‘Captain Marvel’) and Awkwafina (‘Ocean’s 8’). Harry Shum Jr. of ‘Shadowhunters’ and ‘Glee’ appears, but most of his storyline was cut due to time.
Both ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and last week’s #1 movie ‘The Meg’ come courtesy of Warner Brothers. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ edged past ‘The Meg’ this weekend, but Warner Brothers should be given credit for drawing audiences to theaters during the dog days of August, which is usually a dead zone as kids go back to school and people wrap up their summer festivities.
This week’s other “big” release is STX’s Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg action movie ‘Mile 22’ was being eyed to kick off a series, but the fact that this movie appears so been-there-done-that has led to this movie’s $13.6M opening being among the lowest of Berg and Wahlberg’s collaborations. 2013’s ‘Lone Survivor’ enjoyed a $37.8M opening, and 2016’s ‘Deepwater Horizon’ opened with $20.2M. At least ‘Mile 22’ opened better than 2016’s ‘Patriots Day’.
‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ looks to be tying for fourth place with new entry ‘Alpha’ which is being partly protested due to the investigation into animal deaths on the movie’s set.
- Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Brothers) – $25.4M
- The Meg (Warner Brothers) – $21.1M
- Mile 22 (STX) – $13.6M
- (tie) Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount/SkydanceMedia) – $10.5M/Alpha (S8/Sony) – $10.5M
- Christopher Robin (Disney) – $8.9M
‘The Meg’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ thrived thanks to their being counter-programming and coming out at a time after the typical summer movie fare have run their course. In all honesty, the campy ‘Meg’ might have gotten swallowed up if it had gone head-to-head against a Marvel movie or some other blockbuster. And a lighthearted adult-skewing rom-com like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ would likely not have drawn viewers from more mainstream, family films like ‘The Incredibles 2‘ and ‘Hotel Transylvania 3‘.
Is the time right for a straight-up, raunchy adult comedy? STX hopes so, as it rolls out Melissa McCarthy’s ‘The Happytime Murders’, the ‘Sesame Street’ parody directed by Jim Henson’s son Brian. Also opening is YA-targeted, ’80s throwback ‘A.X.L.’
Check back to see how things pan out.