Update: Off the back of a blistering opening session, multi Oscar winner Parasite is set to expand to north of 400 sites across the UK and Ireland this weekend, more than double its initial 136 venues.
The pic took $1.8M including previews over its debut weekend to record the highest-grossing foreign-language opening of all time in the UK.
Philip Knatchbull, CEO at UK distributor Curzon, said on the expanded roll out: “Last night’s Oscar result is truly historic. We couldn’t be happier for Bong Joon Ho, his team, and our friends at CJ Entertainment and Neon. To be opening Parasite in the UK in the midst of all this excitement is a dream for any distributor. The weekend box office broke records for subtitled film and individual records at Curzon venues and with our partner cinemas. With the film expanding this weekend to around 400 cinemas, we hope the film will be embraced even further by audiences in the UK and Ireland.”
Original story: Fresh off a remarkable night at the Oscars, the Parasite team are waking up today to the news that the film is causing yet another box office splash, this time in the UK where it has officially set a record as the highest opening ever for a foreign-language movie.
UK distributor Curzon and box office org Comscore both confirmed to us that the movie’s opening of $1,796,659 (£1,389,856) including previews is a record for a non-English language release. Across its opening Fri-Sun session, it grossed $1,395,025 (£1,079,102) with a screen average of $10,258 (£7,935).
That tops previous record holder Apocalypto, which opened with $1,758,494 (£1,360,111) in January 2007 on its way to a total gross of $5,320,094 (£4,114,838).
Expect Parasite to breeze past that total, particularly with the buzz from its impressive Oscar night, which saw it scoop four prizes and become the first film not in the English language to win Best Pic.
All the more remarkable is that Apocalypto opened on some 385 screens, compared to Parasite’s 135, meaning the Korean film has more than doubled the screen average of the Mel Gibson movie. It’s also worth taking into consideration that Apocalypto had a recognized American movie star at the helm.
The Parasite opening figure also surpasses the entire lifetime UK grosses for pics such as The Farewell, and previous Palme d’Or winners Shoplifters and The Square.
The success of this movie just gets more and more remarkable. It started off life with a Palme d’Or win in Cannes last year, before grossing a stunning $72M in Korea after being released in late May.
The U.S. release via Neon has seen it gross more than $35M to date, with plenty more to come following Oscar. Other successful territories include France ($12M) and Japan (also $12M).
Curzon holds the film’s UK rights, with Studiocanal handling theatrical bookings.