‘Crazy Rich Asians’ attracts immigrant parents to the theatres, some for the first time in years

Alice Sue, left, and her daughter, Audrey Sue-Matsumoto laugh while being interviewed after viewing the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” in Daly City, Calif., Aug. 23, 2018.

(Associated Press)

The summer romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” not only nabbed the top spot at the box office in its opening weekend, but it is also the signs of immigrant parents in the U.S. cinemas.

Enthusiastic young Asian-Americans are flocking to the movie with their parents to see the first movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast.

For many older, first generation Asian immigrants, the crowds, the language barrier and ticket prices often deter their film experience.


‘Crazy Rich Asians’ beats industry expectations

“My parents rarely go to the theater, because usually they can’t understand English as well,” said Michelle Vuong, 24, that her Chinese immigrant parents to a theater in Monterey Park, California. “‘Crazy Rich Asians’ had Cantonese, Mandarin, dialogue, actors, all Asian, and a story I think is relevant to my life.”

The appeal of “Crazy Rich Asians” is the story of a culture clash that erupts when an Asian-American woman from New York met her boyfriend’s family in Singapore, to be confronted with a real-life generation gap.

“Themes such as sacrificial love, because my parents sacrificed a lot for me, too,” Vuong told Fox News, adding that the East-versus-West-Asian culture clash is something that she thought that her parents would understand.

Many young Asian Americans who have seen “Crazy Rich Asians” back to the theaters with their parents for a second viewing.

(Associated Press)

An adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, the rom-com is ready to hit the $100 million mark due to the popularity and lack of a strong competition in the following month, comScore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

“The performance of “Crazy Rich Asians” shows the power of a great film with universal themes that all audiences and also the breaking down of preconceptions of what can be considered a box office hit,” Dergarabedian said.

Vuong, a Southern California native, said her father had not been to a movie theater since “Titanic” in 1997.

“For ‘Crazy Rich Asians,” I’ve never seen that elderly Asian-American patrons in the theater. Then I sat in the theater [“‘Crazy Rich Asians’], I saw people bring their mothers, fathers, grandparents,” said Vuong, who saw it for the second time with her parents.

“For ‘Crazy Rich Asians,” I’ve never seen an older Asian American patrons in the theater. When I was in the cinema I saw people bring their mothers, fathers, grandparents.”

– Michelle Vuong


Lie Shia Ong-Sintzel, 36, Seattle, spoke to her parents in coming along, also the second time they saw the film. It was the first time in five years, the couple — Chinese immigrants from Indonesia have been to the cinema.

“I looked back, my father was wiping the tears from his eyes,” Ong-Sintzel said.

The stars and director Jon M. Chu have said that they wanted the film to present Asians who are not stereotypes or little-used side-players.


In Temple City, Calif., Catherine Fanchiang, 27, who is Taiwanese-American, went to the movie for the third time to keep her parents company.

Michelle Yeoh, left, Henry Golding, and Constance Wu in a scene from the movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” When “Crazy Rich Asians” has surpassed all expectations and took first place in its opening weekend.

(Warner Bros Entertainment via AP)

Fanchiang’s mother, Kao, Han Fan, also wanted to see the movie, because she recognized Michelle Yeoh, who plays the role of a careful matriarch. But it was Wu’s character, who became the 64-year-old the most. Fan said that they liked how the story depicted a “ABC” (american-born Chinese) who showed that Asian cultural values such as putting the family on the first place.

“If you grow up in an Asian family … it will be in your mind when you do something, you will always think about other people,” Fan said. “You’re not really, really selfish, think about yourself.”

“If you grow up in an Asian family … it will be in your mind when you do something, you will always think about other people. … You’re not really, really selfish, think about yourself.”

– Kao Han Fan

Earning more than $40 million since the Aug. 15 release, the film already has a sequel in development.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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