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‘Parasite’ to show in more theaters worldwide after historic Oscars win

Bong Joon-ho attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California (AFP-Yonhap)
Bong Joon-ho attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California (AFP-Yonhap)

The hype around “Parasite” after it won four Oscars on Monday has led to more theaters in the US screening the movie.

Director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” won for best picture, director, international feature film and original screenplay on Monday. It was also nominated for best editing and production design.

According to entertainment magazine Variety, Neon, the film’s North American distributer, will double the number of screens showing the movie from 1,060 in North America to over 2,000 by the coming weekend.

According to Box Office Mojo, “Parasite” has raked in over $35.5 million in the US since its release there. This makes it the sixth highest grossing non-English-language film there, behind “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” ($128.1 million), “Life is Beautiful” ($57.6 million), “Hero” ($53.7 million), “Instructions Not Included” ($44.5 million) and “Pan’s Labyrinth” ($37.6 million).

Previous winners of the best picture Oscar saw huge increases in ticket sales. Last year’s winner, “Green Book” grossed 18 percent of its North American final gross after the win.

As of Tuesday, “Parasite” sat at the top of the iTunes movie downloads and Amazon Best Sellers in Movies & TV, showing the high interest in the black satire.

In the UK, where “Parasite” was released to cinemas Friday, the movie broke the record for the highest opening weekend ever for a foreign-language film. “Parasite,” after a historic Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival in May, took in $1.8 million there, according to UK distributor Curzon and box office organization Comscore.

The previous record-holder was Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto,” which took in $1.76 million in its opening weekend in the UK in 2007. “Parasite” had only 136 opening screens compared to “Apocalypto” at around 385. Curzon announced it will increase the number of screens showing “Parasite” from 136 to around 400.

“Parasite” also holds the top spot for the highest per-screen average for movies shown in the US in 2019, with $125,421 on average in the first three theaters, grossing $376,264 in three days, which is more than Bong’s “The Host” in 2007 took in across 71 theaters there.

In Japan, “Parasite,” which was released Jan. 10, is the first Korean movie in 15 years to net over 1 billion yen ($9.1 million) and have over 1 million viewers.

“Parasite” has netted approximately $165 million worldwide so far, according to Box Office Mojo.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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