For “Crazy Rich Asians,” third time’s a charm — just like the first and second.
Warner Bros.' hit romantic comedy took the top spot at the box office for the third week in a row, grossing an estimated $28.3 million for the four-day holiday weekend and raising its cumulative ticket sales for the U.S. and Canada to $117 million. For Friday through Sunday, the film dropped a mere 11% compared with the same period the week before.
Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding, the film made history for the number of Asian Americans in its cast and continues to build off an opening weekend that was the highest grossing for a romantic comedy since "Trainwreck” in 2015. “Crazy Rich Asians” is based on the Kevin Kwan bestselling novel and follows the story of a Chinese American woman who comes to learn of her boyfriend’s Singapore family’s wealth — and all that comes with it.
The film’s momentum has been sustained by a combination of new and repeat viewers, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
“People who haven’t seen the movie keep hearing about it for three weeks now. It’s like, ‘Hey, if you haven’t seen it you have to,’ and if you have, you want to take other people back,” he said. “It’s just become a phenomenon — the repeat viewing, the enthusiasm people have and the fact that it’s appealing to all audiences irrespective of their cultural backgrounds because of its universal themes, its humor. It’s just a fun time at the movies.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” has helped give the Labor Day weekend — and the summer season overall — a major boost, Dergarabedian said. Box office was up 64.3% compared with Labor Day 2017. The summer as a whole is up 14% over last year, and August in particular is up 30% over last year.
“A big part of that can be attributed to ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and of course ‘The Meg,’ both Warner Bros.,” Dergarabedian said. “A movie like this can really bolster the bottom line when, typically at the box office, we see a slowdown.”
The shark movie “The Meg” finished the weekend in second, and Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible-Fallout,” took third. “The Meg,” now in its fourth week, brought in $13.4 million. “Fallout,” in its sixth week, grossed $9.1 million for the four-day weekend.
Jeffrey Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Brothers, said his studios' two films represented 26% of August’s box office sales. They resonated for different reasons, he said.
"With 'Crazy Rich Asians,’ it’s just funny and interesting and different and culturally diverse, yet identifiable to everybody. I think it’s a fun story that looks new and fresh,” he said. “And ‘The Meg,’ it’s just pure popcorn, mindless indulgence.”
MGM’s “Operation Finale,” starring Ben Kingsley as Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann, led the weekend’s new releases with a solid gross of $7.8 million. Directed by Chris Weitz, the film tells the true story of Israel’s 1960 capture of Eichmann in Buenos Aires.
Sony’s mystery-thriller “Searching,” which opened in limited release last week and expanded wide this weekend, brought in $7.7 million for the long weekend, raising its cumulative gross to $8.2 million. The film stars John Cho as a father searching for his missing teenage daughter by sorting through her online history.
Outside the top 10 but still notable: Lionsgate’s “Kin,” about a recently released ex-con on the run, underperformed in its opening. The film brought in just $3.6 million for the holiday weekend, a per-screen average of just $1,709, less than a quarter of “Crazy Rich Asians” pulled in.
The joint Lionsgate-Pantelion release “Ya Veremos” opened at $2.3 million over the four days, a strong per-screen average of $6,152. Focus Features’ “The Little Stranger,” the Lenny Abrahamson film starring Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson, opened with $480,000, just $1,013 per screen.
Disney’s “Incredibles 2,” the follow-up to the 2004 hit, made history this weekend. The film, which finished just outside the top 10, crossed the $600 million mark in domestic sales on Sunday, making it the first animated movie and only the ninth movie of any kind to accomplish that feat. It crossed the $1 billion mark internationally in July and has brought in $1.16 billion so far.