‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sees Poor Box-Office Returns in China

A still from “Crazy Rich Asians”

Despite proving a hit in the U.S., early numbers indicate that the film is unlikely to be a success in Asia’s biggest market.

This summer’s “Crazy Rich Asians” yielded strong revenue figures for a Hollywood production featuring an all-Asian ensemble, becoming the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the last decade. But just over three months later, the blockbuster received a frigid wintertime reception in China.

On Friday, “Crazy Rich Asians” — whose Chinese title translates to “An Unexpected Tale of Picking Gold” — premiered in the country to lackluster ticket sales, with box-office revenues sliding further over the course of the weekend, according to movie-review and revenue-tracking website Maoyan.

By Monday, the film had made a paltry $8.6 million in China; meanwhile, the 2016 Mel Gibson movie “Blood Father,” released the same day, had raked in $11.8 million, and Bollywood flick “102 Not Out” had amassed over $23 million. On Chinese movie-review site Douban, “Crazy Rich Asians” has earned a middling score of 6.2 out of 10.

Joanne Liu was one of many moviegoers who felt disappointed after finishing the film on Friday afternoon. She said that the plot was too “Mary Sue” — a pejorative referring to the trope of shallow, unconvincing female characters in works of fiction — and that the lead actors’ poor Mandarin abilities were a letdown.

A still from “Crazy Rich Asians”

“I think foreigners will like [the film] more,” Liu told Sixth Tone inside a Shanghai theater on Friday. “Their takeaway from the movie will be that Chinese people are mysterious and exotic, but we think this representation is far from the truth.” Read the full article here.


– This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.