Any doubts about whether there would be a market for a romantic comedy featuring a predominantly Asian-American cast have been quashed now that “Crazy Rich Asians” has exceeded all expectations, capturing a five-day total of $34 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend.
As Variety reports, the modestly budgeted film (which reportedly cost just $30 million to make) surpassed all expectations to become the year’s biggest-opening comedy and the top opening for a comedy in three years.
“Crazy Rich Asians” wasn’t just a hit at the box office. The movie was a smash on Twitter as well.
According to Twitter Canada, the movie generated more than 350,000 tweets over the weekend with Canadians at No. 4 behind the U.S., Philippines and Malaysia in number of tweets.
Director Ava DuVernay had the most re-tweeted comment about the movie over its opening weekend.
Among the other most retweeted comments about “Crazy Rich Asians” were tweets from star Constance Wu and Canada’s own Justin Bieber.
Not only is “Crazy Rich Asians” the first studio film in more than 25 years (since 1993’s “Joy Luck Club”) to feature a nearly all-Asian-American cast, it’s also the first comedy in three years to open at more than $20 million (since Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck”).
“Word of mouth is everything,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ head of domestic distribution, tells Variety. “This movie is so culturally significant and so unique in that there hasn’t been a cast that’s predominately Asian [in years]. This is one of those few projects that a whole studio comes together with lots of passion.”
Coming in at second place in the weekend box-office race: “The Meg”, with the Jason Statham-starring shark thriller bringing in $21.5 million in its second week of release for a domestic tally so far of $84 million.
Rounding out the top five at the weekend box office are: “Mile 22” in third place, with the new Mark Wahlberg-starring action thriller performing well below estimates with a $13.6-million opening weekend; prehistoric Ice Age drama “Alpha” at #4 with a domestic take of $10.5 million; and “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” still going strong in its fourth week of release, taking the fifth-place spot with an additional $10.5 million, for a four-week domestic total of $180.7 million.
The weekend’s biggest loser at the box office is undeniably “Billionaire Boys Club”, with the Kevin Spacey-starring film on track to earn less than $450 in its opening weekend after opening in just 10 theatres, one of the most disastrous openings in film history.