Across the nation, as part of the #GoldOpen movement rooting for a stellar box office performance for "Crazy Rich Asians," some individuals have paid for a number of movie tickets, or bought out entire theaters, to give the general public a chance to see the film, free of charge.
It’s been a solid quarter-century since the world saw a Hollywood studio film starring a mostly Asian cast (“The Joy Luck Club,” 1993) in a contemporary storyline. “Crazy Rich Asians,” opening in theaters nationwide Aug. 15, marks the end of that drought — and people are celebrating with their dollars.
Across the nation, as part of the #GoldOpen movement rooting for a stellar box office performance, some individuals have paid for a number of movie tickets, or bought out entire theaters, to give the general public a chance to see the film, free of charge. Benefactors include actors Jimmy O. Yang (who plays Bernard Tai in the film) and Harry Shum, Jr. (who plays Charlie Wu), Olympic bronze-medalist figure skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani, as well as numerous organizations and private citizens across the country.
Closer to home, Seattle resident David Chen, a marketer at Amazon by day and creator of podcasts and art in his free time, joined the movement by buying out a theater for a Saturday screening of the film at Regal Cinemas Meridian 16 downtown. (Free tickets are all accounted for, but, as of Wednesday afternoon, you can still sign up for the waitlist. Full disclosure: I got some of the tickets.)
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“As an Asian American creator and aspiring filmmaker, representation on the big screen is something that is really important to me and that I’m really passionate about,” he said. “With the opening, we have an opportunity to vote with our dollars about the kinds of films we want to see.”
With so few opportunities to support a film like this, he said, “it feels like the stakes are high.”
Chen said he was partly inspired by a Hollywood Reporter story revealing director Jon Chu and book author Kevin Kwan‘s intentional decision to forego a highly lucrative deal from Netflix to put this film on big screens across the globe in the name of representation. “I asked myself, what am I doing to further this cause?” Chen said.
The hope is that, following a successful opening weekend, the movers and shakers in the film industry will notice how much people crave these stories in blockbuster films, and that it won’t be another 25 years before the next one.