Record-Breaking ‘Parasite’ Scores the Best Platform Opening Since ‘La La Land’

IndieWire | 10/13/2019 | Staff
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Box office history was made this weekend, breaking records all around. In a year when specialized (and foreign-language) films have been underwhelming, Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” (Neon) has rewritten the standards.

Its $125,000 per-theater average in three New York/Los Angeles theaters is the biggest specialized limited opening of the year. And it marks the biggest platform release in three or more theaters since “La La Land” in 2016. Neon has effectively positioned the film for maximum excitement and attention, making important choices that maximized the results.

Expansion - Auteur - Pedro - Almodovar - Pain

On its initial expansion, Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory” (Sony Pictures Classics) is also over-performing for a subtitled film, and looks steady as they go ahead.

Meanwhile, “Judy” (Roadside Attractions) is holding well in its third week. The awards season is in full swing, with multiple high-end titles arriving every weekend. Coming this week is Taika Waititi’s TIFF audience-award-winner “Jojo Rabbit” (Fox Searchlight) followed next week by Cannes breakout “The Lighthouse”(A24).

Parasite - Avengers - Endgame - Films - Sense

“Parasite” could be the “Avengers: Endgame” of subtitled films in the sense that the Marvel film topped any opening weekend ever in April, not by any small degree but a huge increase above the past record. The same holds true for Bong Joon Ho’s acclaimed South Korean movie. No foreign-language film has ever opened close to these numbers.

Positioned in three New York and Los Angeles theaters (followed on Wednesday by Manhattan’s Film at Lincoln Center booking) with director and cast appearances at all locations, “Parasite” since Thursday has racked up staggering numbers. The IFC Center in New York has been a sellout across the board on multiple screens. The Arclight Hollywood with greater seating has at times shown the movie on six screens, while The Landmark also in Los Angeles also has sold out multiple shows on its three screens. It has performed consistently across...
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