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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Struggles at Chinese Box Office

Hollywood’s Crazy Rich Asians was a summer hit in the U.S. However, its opening weekend in China wound up being starkly different.

The film is estimated to make an eighth-place finish, earning about $410,000 on Friday and $400,000 on Saturday, Variety reported. The movie was trailing behind indie flick Cool Fish and Marvel’s Venom.

With an all-Asian cast, Jon M. Chu’s film version of Kevin Kwan’s novel was a hit among American audiences. In China, it has few stars of significance. Many Chinese viewers saw the film as just Asian stereotypes, with Variety reporting that one viewer stated: “So Chinese people in the eyes of Europeans and Americans are just about clans, extravagant snobbery, a blind sense of superiority, and stubbornly clinging to outdated rules and ideas?”

Another big reason behind the poor box office numbers was that the film has been pirated and watched already by many Chinese viewers.

Having the film released in China was important to its producers. There are plans to shoot the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, partly in Shanghai within the next year.