Rich Crazy Asians: Popular with Ethnically Diverse Female Viewers

Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians led the weekend with a three-day North American debut of $25.2 million and five-day opening of $34 million.

The first Hollywood studio picture to feature an all-Westernized Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club, made in 1993 scored the top opening for a romantic-comedy in three years and the top start so far for any comedy.

Ethnically Diverse Audience

Nearly 40 percent of the audience was Asian, an unprecedented showing for a Hollywood studio release. The movie, costing a modest $30 million to make, follows upon the success of such titles as Black Panther, Girls Trip and Get Out in terms of playing to an ethnically diverse audience.

Caucasians made up 41 percent of ticket buyers to Crazy Rich Asians, followed by Asians (38 percent), Hispanics (11 percent), African-Americans (6 percent) and other (4 percent), according to Warners and comScore.

Dominated by Women

Females turned out in force (68 percent), while 64 percent of the audience was over the age of 25.

“This is a culturally significant movie,” says Warners distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “It shows all of us that we need to look outside the box.”

Buoyed by glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore, Crazy Rich Asians 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 from one of the richest families in Asia. Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan and Jimmy O. Yang also star.

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).

As for comedy, last summer’s African-American led Girls Trip has been one of few to prosper after posting a three-day debut of $33.2 million.

For Warners, the weekend was a double win, between Crazy Rich Asians and holdover shark picture, The Meg, which placed No. 2 in its second weekend with $21.2 million for a 10-day domestic total of $83.8 million.