Crazy Rich Asians Will Open In China After All, So Back Up The Money Trucks
Jon M. Chu's summer hit Crazy Rich Asians already has made boatloads of cash. It's about to make a lot more. After dominating multiple global markets, the Warner Bros. release has secured a China release date. How do you think it will play there?
Before it even opens in China -- which will happen on November 30, according to The Hollywood Reporter -- Crazy Rich Asians already banked a staggering $228 million in estimated worldwide ticket sales. This off of a reported budget of $30 million, according to stats on BoxOfficeMojo. Every studio in town would trade a limb for profit margins of that size.
That being said, a release in China was never a guarantee for Crazy Rich Asians. As THR notes, the film's "celebration of decadence" amongst the wealthy Asians characters might be seen as off-putting by China's strict content regulators.
In fact, Warner Bros. appeared to be bracing for the fact that they wouldn't get to open Crazy Rich Asians in China, as their initial appeals to the Chinese regulators over the summer -- when Jon M, Chu's movie opened -- were met with silence and inactivity. This led several analysts to conclude that the movie had been rejected. And now, to the studio's delight, the movie received the Nov. 30 release date, and the marketing of the film to Chinese audience likely can begin.
This is a huge win for a movie that already has enjoyed several wins. The adaptation of Kevin Kwan's 2013 novel was both critically acclaimed and financially supported. The film performed admirably against a slew of summer blockbusters, dominating the end-of-season August slate (with no real competition outside of The Meg... another Warner Bros. film). Even without the Chinese release, Crazy Rich Asians is a massive hit.
We can only imagine what the movie's final number will be now that it's going to play in Asia's richest box-office territory.
This is only the beginning for this franchise. Because Crazy Rich Asians performed so well, establishing itself as a crowd-pleaser, Warner Bros. went ahead and greenlit the follow up movie, China Rich Girlfriend. Jon M. Chu is returning to helm the sequel, which also is based on a Kevin Kwan novel, furthering the story of key characters like Nick and Rachel, Eddie Cheng and Astrid Teo, to name just a few.
Planning on China Rich Girlfriend is still underway. There's no release date, as Crazy Rich Asians is still in some theaters. But once WB sees the ticket sales flowing in from China come November and early December, we can guarantee that the script process will happen sooner rather than later.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.