Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win.
The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade.
In the seven days since the Academy Awards on Feb. 9, “Parasite” has brought in $8.8 million, representing 20% of its domestic tally. To date, “Parasite” has made $44 million in the U.S., a massive result for a foreign language film.
“Parasite” also saw a notable surge this weekend overseas, adding another $12.7 million for an international bounty of $161 million. Those receipts push “Parasite” past the $200 million mark worldwide with ticket sales currently at $204 million.
“Parasite” became the first non-English film in history to take home the Academy Award for best picture. Out of its six Oscar nominations, it also won for original screenplay, director and international feature.
Though it has been available on home entertainment since January, its domestic distributor Neon expanded “Parasite” to 2,001 theaters in North America after it became the toast of awards season. That marks the widest release for a foreign language film since 2004’s “Kung Fu Hustle” played in 2,503 venues.
“It’s a great win for ‘Parasite,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. “This example can put to rest the notion that streaming and the big screen are adversaries. ‘Parasite’ is doing well on home video and in movie theaters. Both formats can be successful.”
Best picture winners are often able to leverage Oscar triumphs for box office glory. Last year’s winner “Green Book” saw a 121% increase in revenue the weekend after its victory, the biggest post-Oscar bump at the time. The road trip drama with Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen ended its theatrical run with $85 million from venues in North America and $329 million globally. “Moonlight,” “The Artist,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Million Dollar Baby” are other recent Oscar best picture winners that had subsequent lifts in ticket sales.
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