Crazy Rich Asians is living large at the box office.
Warner Bros’. buzzy romantic comedy is on track to earn an estimated $25.2 million in ticket sales at 3,384 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, topping the box office and delivering a victory for Asian representation in Hollywood and diversity on screen.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling 2013 book about a Chinese-American economics professor (played by Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend (Henry Golding) to meet his well-heeled, tradition-bound family, Crazy Rich Asians represents the first major contemporary Hollywood movie to showcase a predominantly Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club back in 1993. Its auspicious debut comes at a time when inclusive and diverse storytelling are becoming increasingly important issues in the entertainment industry, and it could mark a milestone similar in spirit to the success of Black Panther earlier this year.
Crazy Rich Asians also scored the best opening for a rom-com since Trainwreck ($30.1 million) three years ago.
Released in theaters Wednesday, Crazy Rich Asians had been expected to earn about $26 million to $29 million through Sunday, but it will finish with about $34 million. The film cost about $30 million to make and has received stellar reviews from critics, while moviegoers gave it an A CinemaScore, suggesting strong word-of-mouth prospects. It will roll out internationally in the coming weeks.
Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) directed Crazy Rich Asians, and the ensemble cast also includes Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong. Kwan’s book is the first of a trilogy, and if the film performs well, it could develop into a full-on franchise.
Also arriving in theaters this weekend are the Mark Wahlberg action thriller Mile 22, with an estimated $13.6 million, good for third place, and Sony’s Ice Age-set adventure Alpha, with about $10.5 million, tying with four-week-old Mission: Impossible — Fallout for fourth place.
Dropping down to second place this weekend is The Meg (another Warner Bros. movie), with an estimated $21.2 million. That works out to a decent decline of 53 percent from its debut last week and brings the film’s domestic total to about $83.8 million. Worldwide, the Jason Statham-starring shark thriller has taken in about $314.1 million.
According to ComScore, overall box office is up 8.9 percent year-to-date. Check out the Aug. 17-19 figures below.
1. Crazy Rich Asians — $25.2 million
2. The Meg — $21.2 million
3. Mile 22 — $13.6 million
4. Alpha — $10.5 million (tie)
4. Mission: Impossible — Fallout — $10.5 million (tie)
6. Christopher Robin — $8.9 million
7. BlacKkKlansman — $7 million
8. Slender Man — $5 million
9. Hotel Transylvania 3 — $3.7 million
10. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again — $3.4 million