Entertainment & Arts

US Asians hire out cinemas to screen Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The cast of Crazy Rich Asians attended the US premiere

What's the best way to get a new film seen by as many people as possible? Give out free tickets, of course.

That was the thinking behind the #GoldOpen campaign, started by Asian-Americans working in Silicon Valley.

They wanted to promote the film Crazy Rich Asians and raise awareness about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood.

Free screenings were put on across the US, funded by high profile, affluent Asia-Americans.

Screenings took place in cities such as LA, New York and Houston.

Andrew Chau, the co-founder of bubble tea brand Boba Guys, paid for screenings in San Francisco and Texas.

This isn't the first time this has happened - in January last year a crowd-funding campaign successfully raised over £2000 to pay for young people to see the film Hidden Figures.

The Black Panther challenge also started earlier this year, aiming to get young black people to see the film in New York. The idea soon spread across the world.

All three campaigns have encouraged people to engage with films that offered a more diverse cast list than most Hollywood films.

Crazy Rich Asians' backers have been spending thousands on the screenings

Tickets were then distributed for free to young Asian-Americans through youth groups, friends of the backers and also a few VIPs.

"When's the last time you've seen so many Asians in a theatre?" Tim Lim, a 33-year-old political consultant, told the New York Times, following a screening in Washington on Monday.

His friend was one of the film's backers and he vowed to go and see it another three times.

Crazy Rich Asians is a film based on the best-selling novel by Singaporean author Kevin Kwan and the story follows American-born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu.

It's a romantic comedy with a predominantly Asian cast and is the first major Hollywood film in 25 years to achieve that, Joy Luck Club having set a precedent.

The film stars a cast that's largely new to the big screen, including BBC The Travel Show host Henry Golding, Humans actress Gemma Chan and Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

More on this story