Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Posts $5M Wednesday, Heads for $25M-Plus Debut
Jon M. Chu's rom-com is the first Hollywood studio film in 25 years to feature an all-Westernized Asian cast.
Warner Bros. and director Jon M. Chu's high-profile Crazy Rich Asians opened to $5 million at the Wednesday box office, easily enough to top the chart after earning an A CinemaScore from audiences.
That puts the rom-com on course for a five-day debut in the $25 million range, less than some had thought early on Wednesday. (Warners had predicted $25 million from the get-go.) Not surprisingly, Crazy Rich Asians is playing heavily female (68 percent), while comScore exit polls show that 44 percent of Wednesday's audience was Asian. And 60 percent of the audience was under 35.
Crazy Rich Asians is expected to best STXfilms and Peter Berg's male-fueled Mile 22, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Studio 8's prehistoric adventure-drama Alpha, both of which bow Friday. However, Crazy Rich Asians could find itself in a close race for No. 1 with holdover The Meg, likewise from Warners.
Chu's modestly budgeted $30 million film, based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling 2013 novel of the same name, is the first Hollywood studio movie since 1993's The Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Westernized Asian cast. Warners hosted paid sneaks in more than 350 theaters across the country last Thursday to further increase the profile of the pic. Grosses from the sneaks were folded into Tuesday night's previews, and are believed to total about $350,000.
Crazy Rich Asians currently sports a 94 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. 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 not only from one of the richest families in Asia, but also is one of its most eligible bachelors, putting a target on her back from jealous socialites as well as Nick's formidable mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan and Jimmy O. Yang also star.
The past several years have seen many comedies, including rom-coms, falter at the box office. The last romantic comedy to debut to $20 million or more was in July 2015, when Amy Schumer's raunchy, R-rated Trainwreck launched to post a three-day launch of $30.1 million.
Among R-rated comedies, Universal's female-fronted Girls Trip (2017) is one of the few to prosper in recent times after posting a three-day debut of $31.2 million last summer.
Comps for Crazy Rich Asians' opening day are tough since most films open on a Friday, a much bigger day for moviegoing. Girls Trip earned $11.7 million on its first Friday; Trainwreck took in $10.7 million.
Atom Tickets on Wednesday announced that Crazy Rich Asians is outpacing Girls Trip — ditto for Fandango — and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in terms of advance ticket sales.
Aug. 16, 7:15 a.m. Updated with Wednesday grosses and revised estimates.