‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Will Likely Become the Highest-Grossing Romantic Comedy of the Decade
Director Jon Chu took a big risk when he turned down a deal with Netflix so that Crazy Rich Asians could be released on the big screen, but boy has it paid off.
Based on its performance over the past two weeks, Crazy Rich Asians looks set to become the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the decade. Its domestic total currently stands at $86 million, and it’s expected to hit $100 million by the end of Labor Day weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s latest estimates.
If it continues to perform as well as it is right now, it is likely that the film will end up with a domestic total somewhere between $150 million and $200 million. This would make it the highest-grossing romantic comedy released in the 2010s. According to Box Office Mojo, the film that currently holds that title is Silver Linings Playbook, which made $132 million in the United States. There is almost no chance that Crazy Rich Asians does not exceed that total by the end of its run.
In fact, Crazy Rich Asians will end up being one of the highest-grossing romantic comedies of all time. Here’s the top five right now:
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding – $241 million
- What Women Want – $182 million
- Hitch – $179 million
- Pretty Woman – $178 million
- There’s Something About Mary – $176 million
Crazy Rich Asians beating My Big Fat Greek Wedding is extremely unlikely, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could end up topping What Women Want and taking the #2 slot by the end of its run. It remains to be seen how well the film will hold in the coming weeks, but if, for example, it has similar weekend drops going forward as The Proposal did in 2009, it would end up with a total domestic gross of around $170 million, and it could even go higher since Crazy Rich Asians‘ drops have been a lot better so far.
The romantic comedy genre in general hasn’t exactly been thriving in the 2010s, but there have been some hits over the past eight years. Aside from Silver Linings Playbook, Valentine’s Day was also a huge success, as was Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck and Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It. The top five romantic comedies released this decade so far are:
- Silver Linings Playbook – $132 million
- Valentine’s Day – $110.4 million
- Trainwreck – $110.2 million
- Just Go With It – $103 million
- Sex and the City 2 – $95 million
Crazy Rich Asians has already hit a number of other box office milestones. For one, it had one of the lowest second-weekend drops of all time. Most movies make a lot less money in their second weekend than their first weekend, with weekend two typically bringing in between 40% and 60% what weekend one did. But Crazy Rich Asians made $26 million in its opening weekend and then $24 million in its second weekend.
That’s a drop of just 6.4%, making it the 26th best second-weekend hold of all time. But actually, when you look at that list, almost every movie with a better hold than Crazy Rich Asians opened before a major holiday, so that explains why there wasn’t a huge drop; people stayed home on the holiday weekend and turned out a week later. Crazy Rich Asians, on the other hand, opened on August 15th, so when you’re looking just at movies that came out on non-holiday weekends, it had the third-best second-weekend hold of all time.
The film is also expected to have the third-biggest Labor Day weekend ever, currently being projected to make $24 million. Once again, that’s fantastic considering it’s only $2 million less than the film made on its opening weekend. In terms of all time best Labor Day releases, that number would put it right behind Halloween (2007), which made $30 million, and The Sixth Sense, which made $29 million.
Of course, the success of Crazy Rich Asians is also significant because this is the first American film led by a majority Asian cast in 25 years; the last was The Joy Luck Club in 1993. This meant there was a lot riding on the movie’s performance, but now, its success can ensure that more films with Asian casts are greenlit in the future. So the fact that this film pushes us towards seeing more diverse movies on the big screen in the future truly makes Crazy Rich Asians one of the biggest success stories of the summer.