As the world applauded the Oscar success of Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” the film’s producers had further reason to celebrate following a record-breaking theatrical release in the U.K. over the weekend, pushing its worldwide cume to new heights.
The tragicomedy about social inequality in modern Korea scored £1.4 million ($1.81 million) for its opening weekend, including previews, in the U.K. and Ireland, according to Comscore, breaking the record for a foreign-language film’s opening weekend. The film’s distributor Curzon has revealed that it will expand the release from 136 venues to more than 400 from Friday. The pic, which contains scenes of bloody violence, is rated 15 in the U.K.
The film has received rave reviews from U.K. critics as elsewhere. Mark Kermode at the Observer said: “‘Parasite’ really is the kind of remarkable experience that makes modern movie-going such a joy.” Danny Leigh at the Finanical Times described it as “a spectacular epic and tightly wound chamber piece, chicly sophisticated, brutal as a hammer.”
The pic, which follows a family of grifters as they worm their way into an upper-class family’s perfect world, recorded the world’s ninth highest weekend box office at $4.66 million.
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This takes its worldwide gross to $175 million, a phenomenal figure for an independently produced foreign-language film. Its U.S. theatrical cume, through Neon, stands at $35.4 million, while its international total is at $140 million.
The total covers the pic’s release in 38 territories, so it will climb still higher as more distributors report their figures.
“Parasite” received Oscars on Sunday for best picture, directing, international feature film, and original screenplay.