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New in Theaters August 17: Crazy Rich Asians, Mile 22, Alpha

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By Chris Kavan - 08/16/18 at 06:38 AM CT

It turns out I was wrong about Mission: Impossible - Fallout being the last big movie of summer -as The Meg has an exceptional opening. It's also looking like this weekend's Crazy Rich Asians is poised to be a big hit as well - and it will have just a bit of company with the action-heavy Mile 22 and the Ice Age adventure Alpha joining it. Still, it does look like Crazy Rich Asians, based on the popular novel from Kevin Kwan, looks to capture a big chunk of the box office and helping August stand out even more.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS Things have been heating up for Crazy Rich Asians. For one, Kwan's novel, on which the film is based, has been steadily rising up the best-selling charts on Amazon. The film has had huge social media buzz and it's the first Asian-led film at the box office since The Joy Luck club way back in 1993 (in just 600 theaters no less). Crazy Rich Asians is opening in 3300 locations and it's early Wednesday opening has already led to $5.3 million in the bank. Weekend expectations are high - with $25 being on the low end with most predictions now at $30 million plus with $40 million not out of the question. It's going to be big - but we'll have to wait just a bit to see how big. The film follows an American-born Chinese economics professor, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) who has started a great relationship with Nick Young (Henry Golding). He is heading home to Singapore to attend his best friend's wedding and wants Rachel to come with him. She naturally accepts and arrives only to learn that Nick is part of an impossibly wealthy family as well as being the most sought-after bachelor in Asia. Soon she has to not only navigate his upper-class family but the jealous rivals his position brings. I mean, for what amounts to a romantic comedy (a genre I almost always igore) this looks pretty good. The previews certainly have me interested and the cast looks just fantastic - Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan, Sonoya Mizuno, Harry Shum Jr., Lisa Lu and Jimmy O. Yang are just some of the names gracing the screen. I'm interested to see what the response is, but I have a feeling it's going to be better than imagined.

MILE 22 Joining the crowded action scene this weekend will be Mile 22, with Mark Wahlberg once again flexing his action muscles in the lead role. Wahlberg plays James Silva, leader of an elite off-the-grid CIA team who does those jobs the government doesn't talk about but jobs that need to be done none-the-less. It turns out their latest job may be the most important, and dangerous, of all. It seems a corrupt officer has information regarding the recent heist of nuclear material that could have disastrous consequences. In order for him to give over the information, however, he wants safe passage out of the country. With only a narrow window, and a city full of people who want nothing less than to kill them all, Silva's team will have to put everything on the line to get him to safety. Lauren Cohan stars as the more straight-laced agent to Wahlberg's loose cannon while John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey, Sam Medina and Iko Uwais help round out the cast. Mile 22 looks like a straight-up guy's guy action film. Lots of guns, explosions, cussing - all that fun stuff - but probably not very deep. It's tough to say how it will compete with the likes of Mission:Impossible and The Meg - I see it doing good, but not great - we'll see if there's enough room for three big action films.

ALPHA The last film this week is kind of an under-the-radar adventure film. I haven't heard much about Alpha, but this Ice Age-set film follows follows Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is injured during his first hunt and if left behind. Fending off the elements and the wilderness, he finds himself befriending a lone wolf who has also been abandoned. The two form a bond, and learn to survive together with the ultimate goal of making it back to his tribe before the harsh winter sets in. I mean, the idea sounds interesting - but I just don't seeing having that much of an impact at the box office. Smit-McPhee is by far the only big name in the film, and he's not exactly a huge name to draw in audiences. I think it will have a bigger impact once it hits home viewing. I have a feeling it will break into the top 10, but I don't see it breaking big.

Those are the three big films coming at you this weekend. Crazy Rich Asians looks to make the biggest impact with Mile 22 trying to compete with the other action holdovers and Alpha just trying to hand in there. I'll be back on Sunday with the full breakdown.


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