'Crazy Rich Asians' Tracking for $20M U.S. Debut

Jon M. Chu's romantic comedy is opening midweek, two days before Mark Wahlberg's 'Mile 22' enters the fray.

Warner Bros.' mid-August entry Crazy Rich Asians is tracking for a five-day domestic debut in the $20 million range, one of the better showings for a romantic comedy in recent times.

Directed by Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians opens in North America on Aug. 15, a Wednesday. As expected, the film is generating the most interest among younger females, according to those with access to early tracking.

The $20 million estimate is from industry leader NRG, according to those with access to tracking. Warner Bros. insiders are being more conservative and suggesting $18 million-plus.

On Aug. 17, two other films enter the fray: STXfilms and Pete Berg's male-fueled Mile 22, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Sony's prehistoric adventure-drama Alpha, directed by Albert Hughes and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Mile 22 is tracking to gross $17 million for the three days, meaning that pic and Crazy Rich Asians could find themselves in a close race for the weekend crown. Tracking, of course, isn't a science, and both movies will be making their biggest marketing push in the next three weeks, meaning the numbers could shift.

Alpha is tracking to open in the single-digit millions.

Crazy Rich Asians, based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling 2013 novel of the same name, 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.

Crazy Rich Asians cost a relatively modest $30 million to produce before marketing.

The past several years have seen many comedies, including rom-coms, wilt 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 opened to $30.1 million. The next best showing in the time since was 2016's How to Be Single ($17.9 million), followed by Overboard earlier this year ($14.7 million).

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