The huge success of "Crazy Rich Asian" was anything but assured in the months before the movie opened in August. "It was a leap of faith," recalls Blair Rich, president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros., who says the project represented a lot more than a film both to her and the studio. "I've been at the company for 21 years and worked on a lot of movies, but this one has a lot of personal pride."
The marketing department, she says, "took it very seriously to show the world that diversity and inclusion can be entertaining and reach a broad audience."
The Warner team had to leap a lot of hurdles: "Crazy Rich Asians" was the first major Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast in 25 years; its actors were not megastars; and the movie was a romantic comedy, a genre drawing lackluster box office in recent years.