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‘Parasite’ Scores Biggest Box Office Weekend in 3-Month U.S. Run With Oscar Victory Push

Korean Best Picture winner now stands among Top 5 highest grossing non-English language films in American box office history

A week after making history at the Oscars, “Parasite” is enjoying the best weekend in its three-month run in American theaters, earning an estimated $6.6 million on this Presidents Day weekend as distributor NEON pushed it into wide release.

In the wake of becoming the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Oscar, “Parasite” was expanded from 1,060 screens last weekend to 2,001 screens this weekend. That expansion came with a surge of ticket sales for Bong Joon Ho’s thriller, with Atom Tickets reporting sales doubled for the film week-over-week on their site, while Fandango reported a surge of over 450% over the same timespan.

With a total of $44.3 million in North America, “Parasite” now stands as one of the Top 5 highest grossing non-English language films in American box office history. It sits fourth behind 2002 Jet Li wuxia film “Hero” ($53.7 million), 1997 Best Actor Oscar winner “Life Is Beautiful” ($57.2 million) and 2000 record-holder “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” ($128.1 million).

NEON also found limited release success with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Celine Sciamma’s critically acclaimed LGBT period drama that won Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes last year. Released on 22 screens this weekend, the film grossed $514,707 over the 4-day weekend for a $23,396 average.

This came after a two-screen awards qualifying run back in December that earned an average of $33,672, one of the best opening averages of any French film in the US in the last 20 years, behind “Amelie” and “Coco Chanel.” “Portrait” will expand to more than 300 screens as it enters the Top 25 markets next weekend.

Also performing well this weekend is Universal/DreamWorks “1917,” which won Oscars in the cinematography, VFX and sound mixing categories. Though “1917” failed to become Universal’s second straight Best Picture winner, it continues to be a strong box office presence with an estimated $9.3 million grossed on this extended weekend.

That gives the film a $145.6 million domestic total and $323.7 million global total, putting it on the verge of passing the $329.7 million global total made last year by Universal’s Best Picture winner “Green Book,” $85 million of which came from domestic receipts.