‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Just Had a Historically Great Second Weekend at the Box Office
After an already impressive start, Crazy Rich Asians just had an absolutely historic second weekend at the box office.
According to Box Office Mojo, the romantic comedy from Jon Chu grossed $25 million this past weekend, which is a drop of only 5.7% from its opening weekend debut of $26 million. The film defeated new releases The Happytime Murders and A.X.L.
The reason this performance is so historic is that traditionally, a film will make between 50% and 60% less in its second weekend than it did in its first. A great hold is considered to be about 40%. This summer, for example, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again dropped 56% in its second weekend.
There are very few instances from throughout box office history of a film making almost the exact same amount of money in its second weekend as it did in its first unless the first weekend coincided with a major holiday. For instance, back in 2010, True Grit had a second-weekend drop of just 1.8%, but that was in part because the film opened on Christmas weekend; Christmas fell on a Saturday that year. The same goes for other movies with extremely low drops like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Bolt, all three of which opened either before Christmas or Thanksgiving.
According to Box Office’s Mojo comprehensive list of the lowest second-weekend drops, Crazy Rich Asians’ second-weekend performance is the third-best ever for a film that did not open before a major holiday. There are only two movies that had a better hold and didn’t come out before a holiday, the first of which is Brother Bear, which opened on November 1st and had a second-weekend drop of 4.5%. The second is Shrek, which opened on May 16th and did not have a second-weekend drop at all; it actually went up 0.3%.
Other than that, every other movie in history with a second-weekend drop lower than Crazy Rich Asians held so well largely because of the holiday weekend factor. So far, the best second-weekend hold in history is actually last year’s The Greatest Showman, which had a 76% increase in its second weekend. However, not only did that movie open on Christmas weekend, but it also opened mere days after the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Crazy Rich Asians had no such circumstances contributing to its phenomenal success in its sophomore outing.
Needless to say, this is a sign that audiences are absolutely loving Crazy Rich Asians. If a movie has a large second-weekend drop, that often indicates that the word-of-mouth is extremely negative; those who went within the first few days told their friends, who were on the fence about seeing the film, not to go.
On the other hand, a small drop like Crazy Rich Asians’ indicates the opposite: that moviegoers who were on the fence heard from their friends that the film is excellent, and so they went to see it when they might not have otherwise.
Clearly, Warner Bros. is feeling good about its decision to greenlight a sequel already, and the film’s producers are feeling good about their decision to release the film in theaters rather than through Netflix; they turned down a deal with the streaming service and took a gamble by putting it out in theaters, a gamble that has now paid off.
This is also the latest big win for Warner Bros., a studio that has been having an excellent year. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. also released The Meg, which has been exceeding expectations and recently broke $100 million. The studio this year has additionally seen success with Ocean’s 8, Ready Player One, Game Night, and Rampage, the latter of which underperformed in the U.S. but was a hit overseas. Disney is still by far the highest-grossing studio of this year, with Universal taking second place, but Warner Bros. comes in at number three.