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Crazy Rich Asians keeps getting richer

Los Angeles

CRAZY Rich Asians keeps getting richer, topping the North American box office for a third week in a row and taking in more than double the weekend earnings of the second-highest-grossing film.

Continuing to signal the market's desire for more diverse voices in big-budget movies, Crazy Rich Asians, led by Asian stars, sold about US$22.2 million in tickets from last Friday to Sunday.

The sales are the latest demonstration of the film's staying power, representing a decrease in earnings of only around 10 per cent from the previous weekend and perhaps reaffirming Warner Bros' plans to move forward with a sequel.

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Crazy Rich Asians, adapted from a 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, has now swept up nearly US$111 million in North America, according to media measurement and analytics company comScore, which compiles box office data.

Also for the third weekend in a row, The Meg came in second. The blockbuster-by-design aquatic thriller with Jason Statham and a giant shark-thing sold about US$10.5 million in tickets, bringing its domestic total up to around US$120.5 million.

While the film exceeded box office expectations during its opening weekend, it has since consistently trailed Crazy Rich Asians - though not quite enough to lose its lead of about US$10 million in cumulative North American earnings.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout came in third, with an estimated gross of US$7 million during its sixth weekend at the box office, bringing its domestic total to around US$204.3 million.

The only newcomer in the top five was the historical drama Operation Finale, which brought in about US$6 million domestically during its first weekend.

Directed by Chris Weitz, the film stars Ben Kingsley as the high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac as an Israeli agent hunting Nazis a decade-and-a-half after the end of World War II.

Lukewarm reviews (The New York Times' A O Scott called it "a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations") likely did little to bolster attendance over Labour Day weekend.

Rounding out the top five was Searching, a horror film starring John Cho and told through footage captured from computer screens and apps, which brought in about US$5.7 million during its second weekend. NYTIMES