“Parasite,” the Palme d’Or-winning film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, has enjoyed a winning start at its home box office. It earned $3.93 million on Thursday, according to data from Kobiz, the tracking service of the Korean Film Council.
That put it far ahead of holdover title “Aladdin,” which came in second place ($527,000), and the fourth-place start for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which opened a day earlier, on Wednesday, and earned only $212,000 on Thursday for a two-day cumulative of $768,000.
Since “Parasite’s” victory in Cannes last Saturday and Bong’s return home Monday, the film has enjoyed nonstop enthusiastic coverage in the South Korean media. It was screened for Korean media on Tuesday.
Plaudits were also heaped on actor Song Kang-ho, who has appeared in four of Bong’s films and who plays the father of a poor but resourceful family that works its way into the good graces of a richer family. “Parasite” also stars Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam.
The positive reactions helped exhibitors to expand the film’s opening to a massive 1,783 of the country’s 2,600 cinema screens. The film is distributed by CJ Entertainment.
In third place was “The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil,” which played in a midnight screening slot in Cannes and had its commercial release in South Korea on May 15. It earned $261,000 on Thursday, for a cumulative $22.7 million after two weeks.
In North America, distributor Neon announced Thursday that “Parasite” would get an awards season release. It will start in Los Angeles and New York from Oct. 11.