BEIJING — 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 $24.2 grossed by the Chinese crime drama "A Cool Fish," according to figures from the consultancy Artisan Gateway cited by Variety, an industry journal.
Chinese film industry veteran Wei Junzi says the romantic comedy's focus on Southeast Asian culture did not resonate with mainland Chinese, despite the cast's ethnic makeup.
"It's a good genre movie," Wei said. "It's also an interesting comparison with the current China-U.S. relationship. You think you know about China, but in reality you don't."
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.