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Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians’ second weekend box office in North America almost matches opening weekend, a rare feat

The adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same name took US$25 million, almost matching its US$26.5 million debut last week. It’s become a cultural phenomenon, says an analyst

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 2:38am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 3:39pm

The film Crazy Rich Asians continued to sparkle in North America, topping the box office for the second weekend running, according to industry estimates on Sunday. That’s almost unheard of for a film that hasn’t been released over a major holiday.

The Warner Bros. adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same name took US$25 million, almost matching its US$26.5 million debut last week, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said. It also took US$1.8 million in Singapore.

Starring veteran actress Michelle Yeoh, British-Malaysian former BBC host Henry Golding and American sitcom star Constance Wu, the film tells the story of an American economics professor who meets her super-wealthy boyfriend’s family in Singapore.

It is the first major studio release with a mostly Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993.

Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros., noted that after a 44 per cent Asian-American audience over opening weekend, that percentage fell to 27 per cent on the second weekend while Caucasian and Hispanic ticket buyers grew. “The audience is broadening,” he said.

Ticket sales over the second weekend fell just 6 per cent from the film’s opening weekend.

“There’s no greater indicator of the enthusiasm of an audience than a minimal drop in a second weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “This isn’t the product of opening-weekend hype. This is the product of a great movie resonating very strongly with all audiences. The movie has become a cultural phenomenon.”

Another film tipped to make a breakthrough for Asian-American filmmaking, Searching – a low-budget thriller starring Korean-American actor John Cho – took US$250,000 on limited release in nine cinemas.

Shark attack thriller The Meg clung to the runner-up spot for another week, taking US$13 million – a significant tumble from last week’s earnings of US$21.2 million.

It stars action movie regular Jason Statham as a rescue diver who tries to save scientists trapped in a submarine from a huge, prehistoric shark. Chinese actress Li Bingbing co-stars.

Crazy rich Asians of Hong Kong who set the template for hit film

In at third was newly-released mystery The Happytime Murders, which took $10 million.

This is the product of a great movie resonating very strongly with all audiences.
Paul Dergarabedian

Based in a world where humans and puppets coexist, the film follows a joint police force as they probe a recent murder spree targeting puppet TV stars.

On its heels with takings of US$8 million was Tom Cruise’s action blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which took fourth place in its fifth weekend in cinemas.

Fifth went to Disney’s live-animated hybrid Christopher Robin, which took US$6.3 million.

Ewan McGregor plays Winnie the Pooh’s now grown-up and stressed-out pal who reunites with his old stuffed friend.

Additional reporting by Associated Press