whether or not Crazy Rich Asians would get a China release, the film finally hit screens in the Middle Kingdom this past weekend, and flopped.ollowing all the drama surrounding
Based on the 2013 best-selling novel of the same name by Singaporean-American author Kevin Kwan, the groundbreaking Hollywood movie was one of the surprise smash hits of the year, grossing $237 million worldwide on a budget of just $30 million. In North America, it was the number one film for three weeks straight this summer, raking in $26 million over its opening weekend.
However, this past weekend, Crazy Rich Asians ranked just 8th at the Chinese box office, earning a mere $410,000 on its opening day and $1.15 million over the entire weekend. To put that number in perspective, the superhero blockbuster Venom made a whopping $111 million over its opening weekend in China last month.
The film’s poor performance likely comes down to the fact that Chinese audiences have no shortage of films to choose from with all-Asian casts and this particular one fails to feature a single established star in the country. Meanwhile, since it was released elsewhere months ago, those who had really wanted to see the movie likely had already watched it by the time of its official China release, through bootleg copies or online.
While producers had sought to get Crazy Rich Asians released in China over the summer, the request received no response for months from the country’s film regulator, leading to speculation that perhaps the movie’s focus on conspicuous displays of wealth might have got it banned or that perhaps it had become a casualty of the US-China trade war.
Though the film may have flopped in China, its overwhelming success elsewhere means that a sequel is a certainty. That film will be based on Kwan’s second book in the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend, which partly takes place in China. The title comes from one exchange between characters in the book, which goes: “These people aren’t just everyday rich with a few hundred million… They are China rich!”
Or is that “Shanghai rich?”