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(LEAD) 'Parasite' jumps to No. 4 at North American box office after Oscar wins

Movies 17:25 February 12, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with popularity in other countries in paras 10-12, 16-21; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean film "Parasite" soared to No. 4 at the North American box office after its Oscar victories, data has shown.

According to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracker, the black comedy was the fourth most sold title as of Monday (U.S. time), sharply up from its 12th rank a day earlier.

The box office ascent came one day after "Parasite" picked up four awards, including best picture, at the 92nd Academy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The Korean film became the first ever in the Academy's 92-year-old history to win both best international feature film and best picture, also bagging the Oscars for best director and best original screenplay.

Mojo said that on Monday alone, "Parasite" earned US$501,222 in box office revenue, up 15.6 percent from what it earned on Sunday and 213.3 percent higher than a week earlier.

"Birds of Prey" was running atop the box office chart on Monday, followed by "1917" and then by "Bad Boys for Life."

Released in North America in October, "Parasite", which also won the Cannes Film Festival's top honor, the Palme d'Or, last year, had fallen short of becoming one of the 10 most watched titles in North America.

The movie, however, began to gain ground as the possibility of the its Oscar winnings created a buzz.

So far, the film's accumulated revenue in North America is reported to be $36 million, and the number is likely to go up further to reach $50 million, with the film's North American distributor, Neon, moving to expand its showings to some 2,000 screens by the weekend from some 1,060 screens currently.

"Parasite" cast and staff members pose for photos at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Feb. 12, 2020, as they return from the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (Yonhap)

"Parasite" is also emerging as one of the hottest films in other parts of the planet, including Britain and Japan.

In Britain, the film ranked fourth in the first weekend (Feb. 7-9) after its local release, earning about 1.4 million pounds. It was the best-ever opening performance for a non-English language movie released there.

In Japan, "Parasite" rose to third in last weekend's box office results, with its cumulative Japanese sales increasing to 1.6 billion yen.

The film was screened in the summer of last year in its home country. But big cinema chains, including CGV, began or are planning to bring the movie back to the screen following the Oscar winnings.

After CGV began its rerun of "Parasite" on local screens on Monday, the movie came to box office No. 5 as of Tuesday.

A new black-and-white version of "Parasite" is set to debut on local screens on Feb. 26 as the local cinema industry celebrates its first Oscar victories.

This Vietnamese poster captured from CJ ENM's Facebook account announces the beginning of the rerun of "Parasite" in Vietnam on Feb. 7, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Other Asian countries are experiencing reopening fever, too.

In Vietnam, "Parasite" is scheduled to be re-released at 80 to 100 theaters on Monday, according to the local arm of CJ ENM. It will be the first time a Korean film has been re-released in Vietnam.

The black-and-white version will also be screened in Vietnam beginning late this month. "Parasite" was first released in Vietnam last June and attracted the biggest audience of any Korean film released in the country.

"Parasite" reruns also began at CGV theaters in Turkey last Friday and Indonesia on Tuesday.

"In Indonesia, the attendance rate for the rerun of 'Parasite' reached as high as 32 percent. The cumulative audience, including that from reruns, may exceed 500,000," said a CGV official.

Amid the growing global interest in "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho's other films, Neon is reportedly moving to re-release "Memories of Murder," a 2003 crime drama, in North America.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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