UPDATED, Monday PM: Neon is still counting exactly how wide Parasite will go following its historic Oscar Best Picture win Sunday, but the forecast is around 2,300 theaters. Industry estimates factor, despite the pic being available on DVD now, that it will go to $45 million, becoming the fourth highest-grossing foreign film at the domestic box office behind Sony Pictures Classics’ four-time Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Miramax’s three-time Oscar winner Life Is Beautiful ($57.2M), and Miramax’s Hero ($53.7M).
As far as Parasite getting to $50M, box office sources believe that would be hard. Getting to $45M, a 27% jump in the pic’s total cume following yesterday’s Oscars, is sweet enough.
What’s remarkable about Parasite in both its theatrical release and Oscar campaign is that Neon did this on a thrifty budget next to the exorbitant $100M-plus Oscar campaign Netflix executed for its movies (that amount largely spent on The Irishman).
Industry estimates believe that the Oscar campaign for Parasite was around $4M-$5M, and the entire P&A for the film was between $15M-$17.5M, largely relegated to digital. As Pete Hammond detailed today, a lot of Parasite‘s success goes to Bong Joon Ho being an effective campaigner, showing up to several functions following the pic’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or win.
PREVIOUSLY, Sunday PM: While a post-Oscars box office boost was already expected for Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite tonight even with Best International Film and Best Director wins, now with a Best Picture win, the pic has a shot to go into the $40M-plus zone, possibly even more. The NEON release, after winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival repped the first Best Picture win for a foreign language movie at the Oscars, with a grand total of four wins including Bong and Jin Wan Hoon.
Box office sources believe that if U.S. distributor NEON spends more on ads (and they have every reason to), the final domestic tally for Parasite has a shot of surging 25% following tonight’s win, becoming potentially the 4th highest grossing foreign-language film of all-time, overtaking Eugenio Derbez’s Instructions Not Included ($44.4M), and filing behind Sony Pictures Classics’ 4x Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Miramax’s 3x Oscar winner Life Is Beautiful ($57.2M), and Miramax’s Hero ($53.7M).
Parasite is currently booked at 1,060 runs in 174 markets, and grossed $1.5M over this weekend for a total today of $35.4M. Since Oscar noms were announced on Jan. 13, Parasite has surged 39% in its total cume since noms making a solid $10M over that period. Parasite has passed Miramax’s top grossing French film Amelie ($33.2M) and should soon overtake Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.6M) which is currently the fifth highest foreign language film of all-time at the domestic B.O.
The pic, fueled by its critical momentum and the growing fanbase of Bong, has become an anomaly for a foreign pic at the B.O., feasibly becoming the highest grossing South Korea release of all-time stateside. Parasite became the highest grossing Palme D’Or winner in France and North America in 15 years since the release of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 ($119.1M domestic, $222.4M worldwide). Prior to Parasite, Bong made the $70M feature Okja for Netflix, which got a world premiere at Cannes in 2017. The explosion of Parasite at the B.O. further underscores the power of specialty films on the big screen, both commercially and culturally, as streamers invade the space.
Even though Universal/Amblin/New Republic’s 1917 lost the big prize, many believe the pic stands to final at $150M domestic, repping a 13% jump following tonight’s ceremony where it won best VFX, Cinematography and Sound Mixing. Since Oscar noms were announced on Jan. 13, the Sam Mendes-directed WWI feature (which is told in one continuous shot) has seen a 210% gain in its total box office to date. Amazing. Last year, Universal/Participant/Amblin’s Green Book saw a 22% jump in its domestic box office post Oscars for a final take of $85M stateside.
Even though the nom season shrunk by two weeks, those Oscar Best Picture nominees still in theaters saw sizeable gains since nom day with Fox Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit at $30.3M, +37% and Sony’s Little Women at $102.6M, +37%. Jojo Rabbit won best adapted screenplay tonight for its filmmaker and star Taika Waititi, while Little Women won Best Costumes.
Over the last five years, Oscar Best Picture winners have seen a +17% post ceremony average surge in their domestic ticket sales. The biggest percent jump since 2015 was for A24’s Moonlight which increased 25% between Oscars and the end of its run, with a final domestic of $25M.