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(LEAD) Oscar-winning 'Parasite' gets biggest-scale British screen release for Asian title

Entertainment 15:00 February 11, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 10th para)

SEOUL/LONDON, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- The Oscar-winning Korean film "Parasite" is getting the widest-ever theatrical release for an Asian title in Britain.

The black comedy was officially released last Friday and is now showing on 1,554 screens in some 100 theaters across Britain.

Tickets for several showings of "Parasite" sold out in the opening weekend, and the news of the film's victories at the Oscar is further boosting the film's appeal to British audiences.

"Parasite" picked up four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (U.S. local time), including best picture, the event's highest prize.

The Korean film made Oscar history by winning both best international feature film and best picture for the first time in the more than 90-year history of the award event. It also bagged the Oscars for best director and best original screenplay.

Prior to his Oscar victories, "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho and actor Song Kang-ho flew to London to pick up two trophies at this year's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards on Feb. 2.

The BAFTA's best original screenplay and best film not in the English language went to "Parasite" after it was nominated in four categories, including best film and best director.

The duo also attended the movie's preview event held in London's Curzon Mayfair theater held on Feb. 3.

"Parasite" is Bong's seventh feature film. It depicts class division through two economically polarized families with a touch of thriller elements.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho holds up his Oscar trophy and smiles at a press conference held at the London West Hollywood in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2020 (local time), after his black comedy film "Parasite" took four titles at the 92nd annual Academy Awards. (Yonhap)

In North America, Neon, the distributor of "Parasite" there, is reportedly planning to expand the movie's release to more than 2,000 screens from the current 1,060, following the film's unprecedented Oscar victories.

According to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracker, "Parasite" has earned US$35.53 million in ticket sales in North America so far, the sixth-highest revenue for a non-English language movie ever released in North America.

It is likely to soon overtake the 2006 Mexican-Spanish dark fantasy "Pan's Labyrinth," the fifth-biggest foreign language film there, it said.

According to Variety magazine, "Parasite" earned 1.4 million pounds (US$1.8 million) in its opening week in Britain, the highest first-week revenue for any non-English language film in the country. The magazine said that Curzon, the British distributor, is planning to expand the film to 400 movie theaters across Britain.

Back in South Korea, a new black-and-white version of "Parasite" will hit movie screens at the end of this month. The movie first opened here in the summer of last year and drew more than 10 million cinemagoers.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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