Groundbreaking romantic comedy 'Crazy Rich Asians' tops box office, shows representation pays off

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The groundbreaking romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians," directed by a Bay Area native, topped the box office this weekend. Its five-day take has already surpassed the cost of making the film. (KGO-TV)

The groundbreaking romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians," directed by a Bay Area native, topped the box office this weekend. Its five-day take has already surpassed the cost of making the film.

The film took in $35 million in its first five days. The romantic comedy was made with only $30 million, so it's already a winner.

VIDEO: 'Crazy Rich Asians' director grew up around dad's world-famous Los Altos restaurant
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"My parents bought me books on film making, didn't expect me to go into the family business or be a doctor. My family catered my first short screening, my first movie "Titanic Prom," said Jon Chu, who grew up in his father's famous Los Altos restaurant, Chef Chu's.



On Monday, supporters of the film see it as proof that representation not only matters, it can also pay off.

"Crazy Rich Asians" is the first Hollywood movie to feature an all-Asian cast in a quarter century.

Asian-Americans packed theaters, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the audience.

VIDEO: Crowds go crazy for 'Crazy Rich Asians' in SF, also Kristi Yamaguchi loves the movie!
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Kristi Yamaguchi, world-famous Olympic figure skater, was at a screening of the film in San Francisco and she had a lot of great things to say about this blockbuster and her foundation, which helps children achieve through literacy.



Tech millionaires and celebrities bought out theaters and gave away tickets to under-served communities. They call their social media movement "Gold Open."

Alex Wu, an early Facebook employee whose nonprofit Asian American Artists Foundation helped drive the movement, spoke to ABC7 News' Kristen Sze on Monday.

"You just hear stories of people doing birthday parties, anniversary gatherings and using the movie as a rallying point for that, it's really, really powerful," Wu said.

VIDEO: 'Crazy Rich Asians' is more than a rom-com, it's a ground-breaker for Asian-Americans
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"My parents bought me books on film making, didn't expect me to go into the family business or be a doctor. My family catered my first short screening, my first movie "Titanic Prom," said Jon Chu, who grew up in his father's famous San Francisco restaurant, Chef Chu's.



Wu says African-American groups held buy-out screenings for "Crazy Rich Asians" and his group will now hold screenings for Spike Lee's "Black Klansmen," already in theaters, and for "Searching" starring John Cho, which debuts this weekend. "Searching" is the first mainstream contemporary thriller to be headlined by an Asian-American actor.

Two weeks ago, Kristen Sze sat down with "Crazy Rich Asians" director Jon Chu, whose family owns the acclaimed Chef Chu's restaurant in Los Altos. He said if his film succeeded, more projects featuring Asian-Americans and other minority groups would get the greenlight.

That's why a romantic comedy has become a movement, a turning point for diversity in storytelling.

Click here to donate to an IndieGoGo campaign to help students see "Crazy Rich Asians" in theaters.

For more on "Crazy Rich Asians," the director, and the cast, visit this page.
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