Computer-screen thriller 'Searching' transcends its gimmick

This image released by Sony Pictures shows John Cho in Screen Gems' thriller "Searching." Cho stars as a father trying to find his missing teenage daughter. (Elizabeth Kitchens/Sony Pictures via AP)

Computer-screen thriller 'Searching' transcends its gimmick, and becomes part of the conversation

LOS ANGELES — The computer-screen mystery "Searching" may have started out as a gimmick, but with strong reviews and a grassroots campaign behind it, the film has become a late summer must-see.

Featuring an Asian-American lead and opening on the heels of "Crazy Rich Asians," ''Searching" debuted last weekend in nine theaters earning an impressive $390,000.

The film stars John Cho as a father trying to find his missing teenage daughter.

Cho became a symbol of the lack of Asian-American representation in film with the viral hashtag #StarringJohnCho. Cho says it might not have made him an Avenger or James Bond, but the last two movies he's starred in have been directed by Asian-Americans.

"Searching" expands to 1,200 theaters nationwide this weekend.

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