Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Dancing Past 'The Meg' With $21M-Plus Weekend

Crazy Rich Asians Still 4 - Publicity - H 2018
Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.

Elsewhere, Mark Wahlberg's 'Mile 22' is struggling to find much action.

Jon M. Chu's romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians danced past The Meg at the Friday box office for a projected $21 million-plus weekend and flush five-day debut of $30 million or more.

That's a strong showing for a rom-com considering the ongoing comedy slump at the box office.

For Warner Bros., the weekend is a double win, between Crazy Rich Asians and holdover shark pic The Meg, which looks to come in at No. 2 with as much as $19.5 million in its sophomore outing.

Early Friday, the race was too close for comfort between Chu's modestly budgeted $30 million film, based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling 2013 novel of the same name, and The Meg. By day's end, Crazy Rich Asians had pulled ahead, earning $7.3 million for the day from 3,384 theaters, compared to $5.8 million for The Meg from 4,118 locations.

Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio movie since 1993's The Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Westernized Asian cast. The story follows American Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. As Rachel visits Nick's hometown for the first time, she quickly learns that her boyfriend is from one of the richest families in Asia. Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan and Jimmy O. Yang also star.

Boasting stellar reviews and an A CinemaScore, Crazy Rich Asians is playing heavily female. It's doing its strongest business in Asian markets and big cities.

The weekend's two other new offerings are Pete Berg's Mile 22, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Studio 8's prehistoric adventure-drama Alpha, directed by Albert Hughes and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Mile 22 is coming in behind expectations after poor reviews and a B- CinemaScore. The action-thriller grossed $5.3 million from 3,520 theaters on Friday for a projected $13 million-plus debut, putting it at No. 3.

The action-thriller, marking the fourth film that Berg and Wahlberg have made together, tells the story of an elite CIA operative and his team who are tasked with escorting a high-value asset who is being targeted by terrorists. John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey and CL co-star.

Alpha, one of the first films from Jeff Robinov's Studio 8 and partner Sony, earned an estimated $3.4 million from 2,719 locations on Friday for a debut of $9 million-$10 million. Set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, the story centers on a young man who is injured and left for dead by his tribe while on a hunt. The film's current Rotten Tomatoes score is 82 percent, while audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.

Aug. 10, 1:10 pm PST Updated with Friday estimates.
Aug. 11, 7:30 am PST Updated with Friday grosses and revised estimates.