‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has dis­ap­point­ing de­but in China

The Tribune (SLO) - - Espresso -

Chi­nese au­di­ences aren’t ex­actly go­ing nuts over the U.S. box of­fice hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” de­spite its all-Asian cast and theme of ris­ing Asian pros­per­ity.

In­dus­try data show the film made just $1.2 mil­lion over the three days of its ini­tial re­lease, far be­hind lo­cal pro­duc­tions in the world’s sec­ond-largest movie mar­ket. That com­pared with the $25.6 mil­lion grossed by the Chi­nese crime drama “A Cool Fish,” ac­cord­ing to data from an­a­lyst Coms­core.

The film’s poor per­for­mance in China con­trasts sharply with its near-rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion in the Chi­nese di­as­pora, es­pe­cially in the U.S. where it was hailed as the first all-Asian box of­fice smash.

Critic Shi Hang said Chi­nese au­di­ences are so used to all-Asian pro­duc­tions that the cast­ing didn’t hold much nov­elty.

“What the pub­lic was ex­cited about abroad was all-Asian-faces, but, sorry, we watch all-Asian-faces every day so it is less valu­able here,” Shi said.

The film’s over-the-top dis­plays of wealth and en­ti­tle­ment may also have been a turn-off for some view­ers in a coun­try where the widen­ing gap be­tween rich and poor ran­kles many.

“It is un­der­stand­able in a com­edy at­mos­phere, but it gets harder for me to get into the story,” he said.

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