It’s been a long 25 years since the all-Asian cast of the first major studio film, “The Joy Luck Club,” took the silver screen in a nationwide release. The second biggest all-Asian studio film proved successful beyond measures. The Warner Bros. romantic comedy, “Crazy Rich Asians,” opened to an estimated $25.2 million at the domestic box office this past weekend. The film’s big screen debut was so successful that it even launched the film’s main stars, Constance Wu and Henry Golding, into the top spot at the box office.
The film, based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, tells the story of a college professor who meets her boyfriend’s wealthy family in Singapore.
Over the course of five days, “Crazy Rich Asians” raked in $34 million, exceeding industry expectations that estimated it would bring in something closer to $25 million.
More than that, “Crazy Rich Asians” is a turning point for on-screen representation. Before the film’s release, people were already drumming up attention with the #GoldOpen hashtag social media movement, and the media generated immense buzz for the movie.
Additionally, more than just being having a strong opening and paving the way to more representation on the big screen, “Crazy Rich Asians” is a watershed for romantic comedies. It was the first time a rom-com has topped the box office since June of 2014. The genre, once one of the Hollywood’s most reliable, now thrives on Netflix.
Netflix originally offered the creators of “Crazy Rich Asians” a large amount to make the movie for their streaming service, but they instead opted for a theatrical release in order to give the film a chance to be seen by audiences in the cineplex. Though it was a huge gamble, it clearly paid off, and audiences everywhere are loving the movie.