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Is 'Crazy Rich Asians' Looking at a Crazy Rich Opening Weekend?

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This weekend gets off to an early start with the Wednesday release of the much-anticipated romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, the first Asian-led studio film to hit theaters since The Joy Luck Club. While Joy Luck Club didn't play in any more than 600 theaters during its run 25 years ago, Crazy Rich Asians will get its start in over 3,300 locations with plenty of buzz behind it. Later in the week, STX will release what they hope is a franchise-starter in Mile 22 featuring Mark Wahlberg re-teaming with director Peter Berg, while Sony's Studio 8 will release Alpha.

Beginning with Crazy Rich Asians, the adaptation of Kevin Kwan's novel of the same name has been making headlines for some time now. Originally published in 2013, the book has found a place on Amazon Charts for the past five weeks, currently ranking as the third most sold fiction title on the site, up two positions from the previous week. On top of that, the film has already generated a social media movement and IMDb page view data shows it outperforming the likes of last year's hit comedy Girls Trip as well as A Bad Moms Christmas over the two weeks leading up to release.

As for the weekend, Warner Bros. is anticipating a $29 million five-day opening, but given the hype, strong reviews and the data we're looking at, we're expecting a larger result. At this point, a $30 million five-day feels like the floor, while a five-day pushing toward $40 million doesn't feel at all out of the realm of possibility. The film already has a little money in its coffers thanks to sneaks held in early August where it is reported it brought in anywhere from $450-500k from 354 locations. At this time, a five-day approaching $35 million feels like a safe bet and we're ready for it to pop even higher.

Look for WB's The Meg to take another $20 million bite out of the box office this weekend, signaling a ~56% drop from its stellar $45.4 million debut last weekend. This should put the film's domestic gross over $80 million after ten days in release.

STXfilms's Mile 22 should be looking at a third place finish for the weekend as Wahlberg and Berg team for the fourth straight film in a row, and with this one their hoping to start a whole new franchise. The R-rated action-thriller will debut in ~3,510 locations and studio expectations are for a debut similar to the $16.8 million opening for Tom Cruise's American Made last September. A look at IMDb page view data supports such a comparison along with comps to films such as Den of Thieves ($15.2m opening), Death Wish ($13m opening) and American Assassin ($14.8m opening). Overall, a performance right around $14-16 million seems a good bet.

Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Fallout should land in fourth place, dropping around 37% for a $12.6 million three-day, pushing the film's cume over $180 million. Such a performance would help maintain Fallout's lead over Mission: Impossible II as it hopes to become the largest grossing film in the M:I franchise.

Rounding out the top five we're expecting a good sophomore session for Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, dropping around 31% for a second weekend right around $7.5 million. Should the film hold to that forecast it will be looking to top $23 million or so by the end of the weekend.

It isn't until the second half of the top ten that we find Sony's Alpha. Debuting under the Studio 8 banner, the Albert Hughes-directed adventure feature is set during the last Ice Age and is expected to open in ~2,500 theaters. Recent industry expectations pegged the film for a $7-8 million opening as it will debut not only in 3D, but also in select IMAX locations, but based on what we're looking at that could be a stretch. IMDb page view data shows the film hewing closer to the recent release of The Darkest Minds if not a bit behind, which has us expecting a debut closer to $5.5 million for the weekend.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Wednesday morning with Tuesday night preview grosses. Following that we will update once again on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
 

  1. Crazy Rich Asians - $25.0 M (~$35M five-day)
  2. The Meg - $20.0 M
  3. Mile 22 - $15.0 M
  4. Mission: Impossible - Fallout - $12.6 M
  5. BlacKkKlansman - $7.5 M
  6. Disney's Christopher Robin - $7.3 M
  7. Alpha - $5.5 M
  8. Slender Man - $4.1 M
  9. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - $4.1 M
  10. The Spy Who Dumped Me - $3.6 M

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