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‘Parasite’ to Become Year’s Highest-Grossing Foreign Film in the U.S.

Bong Joon-ho’s Korean-language black comedy “Parasite” is poised to polish its Oscar credentials this weekend when it is expected to pass the $10 million milestone at the North American box office.

The scathing social critique, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in May, opened in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Oct. 11. It finished last weekend with a running domestic total of $7.53 million, according to tracking service Comscore. (As of last Sunday, it had also earned just short of $102 million in overseas markets as well.)

“It could potentially cross $10 million this weekend since it is adding 142 locations, for a total of 603,” Comscore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, told Variety.

That total would make “Parasite” the highest grossing foreign-language film of the year on North American soil, overtaking the Spanish-language Mexican comedy “No Manches Frida 2,” which was released in March and grossed $9.27 million domestically.

“‘Parasite has been riding a wave of interest since its debut. Neon’s slow rollout was perfectly orchestrated from day one and this has paid big dividends for the film,” said Dergarabedian. “’Parasite’ is one of the most interesting (and unpredictable) films of the year and has become one of the must-see films of the season.”

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In addition to solid box office receipts, “Parasite” has picked up the kind of praise from critics and audiences that make it one of the relatively rare foreign-language films that looks to have real potential across multiple categories in the Academy Awards. Nominations in the best film and best director categories are genuine prospects.

The film’s South Korean backer CJ Entertainment is supporting Neon’s awards campaigning. In addition to CJ’s own North American staff, the Korean giant is understood to be rotating Seoul staff into the U.S. throughout December.

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