Hollywood has been talking about the arrival of Jon M. Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians for months, and now that it’s here it’s a bonafide hit. The romantic comedy is not only the first American studio film since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Asian cast, but has been earning fantastic heaps of positive buzz. Check out the full Top 10 chart below, and join me after for analysis.
Making $25 million in a three day weekend wouldn’t exactly be something to celebrate for a major tentpole project, but Crazy Rich Asians is definitely a victory for Warner Bros. as a mid-budget romantic comedy released in the middle of August. It had some interesting competition – which I’ll get into in a second – but rode high on a wave of positive reviews and a strong mid-week release, and already it has made $34 million total domestically from a reported $30 million budget. It hasn’t really gotten any play in other countries just yet, with many foreign territories pulling the trigger this upcoming week, but most of that will wind up being just a bonus at this point.
It’s very possible that we will continue to see Crazy Rich Asians stay toward the top of the box office at least for the next few weeks. Not only has it received one of the best Rotten Tomatoes scores of the year so far, but it has also landed an impressive A on CinemaScore. It may start to fade when some bigger titles start to come back into fashion in mid-September, but there’s a lot of runway between now and then.
It wasn’t 100% clear if Crazy Rich Asians or The Meg would take the top spot (a battle of Warner Bros. vs. Warner Bros.), but both were expected top beat out the other newcomers – and that’s exactly what happened. For starters, Peter Berg’s Mile 22 ultimately made about half of what the number one film was able to pull in – which is not super awesome for star Mark Wahlberg. As a star the guy has proven reliable for at least $20 million openings in the last few years, and this performance is the weakest for a headlining turn since 2014’s The Gambler (which made $9.1 million). Surely the reviews (it has a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes) have not helped.
Albert Hughes’s Alpha, on the other hand, didn’t have the same kind of expectations behind it – and it performed… fine. There has been some good word of mouth going around about the movie – a title that essentially tells the origin story of domesticated dogs – and it translated to an eight-figure opening. The feature has a reported budget of $51 million, which means it still has a bit of distance before making its money back, but the international numbers should help by the time its done showing on the big screen.
Will Crazy Rich Asians be able to pull off a two-peat? We’ll have to wait and see, as it will be going toe-to-toe with a trio of new releases on Friday: the on-screens thriller Searching, the puppet-centric comedy The Happytime Murders, and the sci-fi action movie A.X.L. Come back next Sunday to see how they all shake up the Top 10.