Why Crazy Rich Asians was a box-office flop in China

Major international hit tanks in China, underscoring for some the divide between Chinese motherland and Asian diaspora.

Beijing, China - Frankie Huang could not hide her excitement when she heard that Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians was going to be screened in China. For the Beijing-born, US-raised writer, the story of the daughter of a Chinese-American immigrant going to Singapore to meet her fiancee's traditional Asian family hit close to home.

"The thing that moved me most wasn't the love story," says Huang, 31. "The real fairy tale is for someone from the traditional culture to really understand an immigrant."

A Shanghai resident, Huang was eager to see how the film - based on the first book of a three-part series by Singaporean-US author Kevin Kwan - would be received on the mainland. It presented, she said, an opportunity for Chinese audiences to learn about and feel a connection to the wider Asian diaspora, and "feel part of this family".

The first Hollywood movie to feature an all-Asian cast for 25 years, the last being Joy Luck Club in 1993, Crazy Rich Asians was a global box-office smash, generating more than $230m worldwide. It has been hailed as a major step forward for Asian representation in Hollywood, with 2019 Golden Globe nominations for Best Movie and Constance Wu rounding out the trilogy's rapturous launch this year.

But in China, where the film opened on November 30 under the title An Unexpected Tale of Picking Gold, the response was starkly different.

Read full article here