Crazy Rich Asians has become the highest grossing rom-com in nearly a decade, concluding Labor Day weekend having pulled in $117 million. The last film in the genre to have netted that much was the 2009 Ryan Reynolds/Sandra Bullock joint The Proposal. Do you even remember that movie? Neither do I.
According to Variety, Crazy Rich Asians made $28.3 million over the long weekend, securing its spot as one of the most lucrative Labor Day showings in years. It didn’t quite catch up to 2007's Halloween, which made $30.6 million, but it still did very well for a genre that has been struggling somewhat in recent years.
Based on the 2013 book by Kevin Kwan, the movie is the first mainstream Hollywood film to feature a predominantly East Asian cast since the 1995's The Joy Luck Club.
“It clearly tells us all to take chances,” Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution, told Variety. “Rom coms aren’t dead, you just need to come up with something new and different. This really does stand out.”
I haven’t seen the film, but while it was widely praised, it seems to me the only “new and different” aspect of Crazy Rich Asians was its willingness to cast an entire movie with characters of Asian descent, which in 2018 shouldn’t be as groundbreaking as it apparently is. On the bright side, this won’t go unnoticed by Hollywood (money talks!). Hopefully by 2019, a movie with an all-Asian billing will be seen not as bold gamble, but, you know...normal.