It seems like Parasite just can’t stop winning. Fresh off its huge and well-deserved Best Picture victory at the Oscars, Bong Joon-ho’s genre-bending exploration of socioeconomic disparity is picking up fans left and right. And that’s thanks in part to a huge box office boost.
This weekend, the film began screening in 941 additional theaters, expanding its total presence to 2,001 screens across the United States. That amounts to a 234.2% increase – easily the biggest of the week. That should come as no surprise, as Parasite has generated a huge amount of attention following its historic wins for Best Foreign Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards. And this increase in theaters will only help the movie build on its already impressive box office legacy.
Since it won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Parasite has defied expectations. Propelled by great word of mouth, it was popular with cinephiles the moment it began a limited release in the United States. Buzz about its amazing cast and twisty plot led to even more interest. Last November, it became the highest grossing foreign film of 2019. To date, it’s grossed $44.3 million in the United States, and $175.3 million worldwide. As it began to pick up momentum during award season, fans online slowly but surely joined the BongHive – a group of enthusiastic fans of the film’s legendary director. And that was all before the Oscar buzz.
Parasite is the first film not in the English language to take home the Best Picture Oscar. It’s an impressive feat, made even more astonishing when you factor in that it’s the first film from South Korea to ever even be nominated at the Academy Awards. Since its surprise victory, there has been some debate as to whether or not the film’s subtitles would deter from moviegoers enjoyment. But it seems as though theater owners, at least, are willing to increase its availability so that people can decide for themselves.
And the visibility to Parasite won’t stop there. The film is already available for home viewing on DVD and Blu-ray and streaming services, and Criterion Collection announced it will be distributing it as well. And shortly after it took home a Golden Globe for Foreign Language Film, HBO announced it was working with Bong Joon-ho to develop an English adaptation as a limited series. That news was met with some backlash from fans of the film, who feel that it doesn’t need to be retooled for an American audience. We don’t yet know if the TV series will be a sequel, a remake, or something else entirely. But if nothing else, it indicates that Parasite’s legacy will continue to capture our attention for the foreseeable future.
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