Crazy Rich Asians
On Wednesday, August 15th, Crazy Rich Asians made its debut in theaters. Based on the novel by Singaporean-American writer Kevin Kwan, the film is a rom-com about the difficulties of love and family. While the rom-com story is a little familiar, the voice in which it’s told is uniquely Asian. It’s a voice that’s been missing in Hollywood for far too long. And now, this voice can be celebrated with the release of the film.
You need only look at the cast of the film to realize just how momentous this is. The film stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Sonoya Mizuno, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Harry Shum Jr., to name a few. All of these actors and actresses are of Asian descent. Every single one of them. And this isn’t a wuxia film or a Korean drama. This is an Asian-American voice, a voice that’s been neglected in American film. The last American film with a predominately Asian cast was 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. It’s well past time for a mainstream film featuring an Asian cast to be a blockbuster.
The Asian-American community thinks so, too. Many Asian-Americans are actively promoting the importance of Crazy Rich Asians on their own. In fact, NBC reported that in one instance three women bought 80 tickets for strangers. The women then listened to stories of the people they bought tickets for and shared the experience of this big moment for their community.
On a bigger scale, digital media entrepreneur Bing Chen created the #GoldOpen hashtag, promoting the fact that over 100 Asian-American creators bought out theaters in order to help push the film to a hugely successful opening. Over 100 creators! That’s crazy!
Actor, host and visual effects artist Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame is excited to see an Asian-American voice on screen and he’s all-in on supporting #GoldOpen, too. He bought out two theaters in two different cities on two different days, to encourage the visibility and success of the film. He exclusively told Geek Girl Authority what the success of the film means to him.
Several weeks ago I made post on Facebook talking about the movie and about how represetation matters. I wondered if there is a way to turn this into more of an event to generate a buzz during opening weekend, when box office matters the most. One of the coolest things I’ve seen in recent film history is the support for Black Panther by arriving in Wakandan formal wear.
I found out that many others from media and the community were sponsoring screenings and as a group using the #GoldOpen hashtag, so I decided to sponsor my own screenings. I selected one theater in LA and one in San Francisco and purchased a total of 220 tickets between the two. I packed the audiences with friends, influencers, and community leaders.
It’s been an incredibly rewarding effort and I’ve been touched by the amount of support from the community.
I think we can all agree with Imahara. Representation matters. This is another reason #GoldOpen and Imahara are getting audiences excited and out in force for the film. As Imahara points out, earlier this year Black Panther created a space of celebration for African-Americans. They were able to watch an African King transform into hero the world needs. The film became one of the highest grossing films of the year in-part because of the importance it held for fans. It doesn’t matter if it’s a superhero film or a rom-com, REPRESENTATION MATTERS. After this weekend’s box office results (which are already projected at between 25 and 30 million dollars) and fan support of the film, Hollywood should take notice. As the director of Crazy Rich Asians Jon M. Chu put it, “[the film] is more than just a movie, it’s a movement.” Be a part of the movement.
Support the movement further by using the #GoldOpen hashtag on Twitter and see Crazy Rich Asians in theaters now!
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