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Parasite was already having a moment before it won myriad Academy Awards over the weekend. However, now that it has won Best Picture and other awards, there’s even better news for those who haven’t caught Bong Joon Ho’s latest movie. In fact, Parasite is going to be expanding its theatrical release so that more people in more place can check out the film.
Parasite actually premiered at Cannes Film Festival way back in May of 2019 before subsequently being released into theaters in limited release in the United States in October of 2019. It slowly cast a wider net from there, eventually reaching a max of 1,060. Until now. Following the historic win for the South Korean filmmaker’s movie, Parasite will be branching out to over 2000 theaters in the U.S, per THR.
The move should be an interesting case study. In the past, just getting nominated for big awards events – think the Golden Globes, The BAFTAS and the Academy Awards, etc – would bump up a movie’s profile in theaters. Being an awards contender can have dramatic impact on box office, particularly prior to the Oscars airing.
Parasite, however, is an interesting case. Although the South Korean movie has made a healthy $35 million at the domestic box office so far (and much more worldwide) it was certainly an underdog for Best Picture and was a welcome surprise as the winner at the awards. Here are the domestic totals for the other nominees:
Ford V Ferrari ($116 million + domestically, $223 million plus total worldwide)
The Irishman (NETFLIX Release)
Jojo Rabbit ($30 million+ domestic, $75 million+ total worldwide)
Joker ($335 million+ domestic, $1 billion+ worldwide total)
Little Women ($102 million + domestic, $177 million+ worldwide)
Marriage Story (NETFLIX RELEASE)
1917 ($132 million+ domestic, $290 million+ worldwide)
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ($142 million+ domestic, $374 million+ worldwide)
Parasite ($35 million domestically, $165 million+ worldwide)
As you can see, while Parasite has brought in a decent amount of money worldwide, domestically it hadn't had as much of an impact as most of the other Best Picture nominees prior to this weekend's wins. This is notwithstanding the Netflix releases (which barely went to theaters at all) or Jojo Rabbit, which had the smallest impact on theatergoers of the nominees.
As it stands, Parasite is one of the highest-grossing foreign language films to hit domestic theaters over the years, which maybe says more about an American dislike for subtitles than it says about Parasite’s success so far. It’s on its way to beating Guillermo del Toro’s beautiful tragedy Pan’s Labyrinth at the domestic box office, however, and we will keep you updated regarding the movie's newfound theatrical strategy and how it plays out.
The movie could make up to $45 or $50 million in its additional release, according to estimates, but the timing is interesting, considering Parasite is already available on DVD, Digital and Blu-ray. If you’d like to order the DVD, it’s not prohibitively expensive for families, either.
Regardless, the good news for Parasite beyond its Best Picture nomination and its other wins is that it should be easy and accessible for people to check it out now that it’s getting so much additional traction.