Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut

Crazy Rich Asians beat expectations to take the top spot at the US box office on its opening weekend.

Crazy Rich Asians, top US box office

'Crazy Rich Asians' is seen as a turning point for Asian representation in Hollywood -- Photo: WARNER BROTHERS

The Warner Brothers film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding is the first romantic comedy in three years to take the top spot.

Since it opened five days ago, the film - which cost $30m (£23.5m) - has made an estimated $34m at the box office.

It is the first major Hollywood film since The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast.

Adapted from Kevin Kwan's bestseller, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an Asian-American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend's ultra-wealthy family in Singapore.

Analysts have said its universal themes and entertainment value proved popular with moviegoers.

'Culturally significant'

Crazy Rich Asians, top US box office

Asian-American actress Constance Wu plays the lead role of Rachel Chu -- Photo: WARNER BROTHERS

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Brothers head of domestic distribution, said word of mouth had been key to the film's success.

"This movie is so culturally significant and so unique in that there hasn't been a cast that's predominately Asian [in years]. This is one of those few projects that a whole studio comes together with lots of passion."

Seen as a turning point for on-screen representation, high profile, affluent Asian-Americans started a social media movement known as the #GoldOpen campaign.

The campaign offered free screenings across the US to promote the film and raise awareness about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood.

The film took more than $25m at the box office over the weekend, which appears to validate the filmmakers' decision to turn down a lucrative Netflix deal in favour of a riskier cinema release through a Hollywood studio.

In second place was the shark thriller The Meg, which earned $21.2m, while the Mark Wahlberg-led action movie Mile 22 placed third, with $13.6m.

Billionaire Boys Club flops

It wasn't such a good weekend for Kevin Spacey's new film, Billionaire Boys Club, which took a record breaking low of $126 (£98) on its opening night in US cinemas.

The film was the last project the actor worked on before sexual assault allegations began to surface, some which dated back more than 30 years.

Billionaire Boys Club had a host of big names on board, including Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton, but failed to attract the attention of many cinemas, opening in just 10 US cities.

Spacey and Elgort's last film together, 2017's Baby Driver, took more than $20m at the box office in its opening weekend as a comparison.

Kevin Spacey was first accused of sexual advances in November by actor Anthony Rapp who said events took place in 1986 when he was 14 and Mr Spacey was 26.

Mr Spacey claimed to have no memory of the events, but publicly apologised. He has since issued an "absolute" denial of the other allegations that later emerged.

Source: BBC

Crazy Rich Asians, top US box office