There were fears that South Korea’s genre-bending class satire Parasite, while a massive hit everywhere else, would hit a snag when it reached American shores. See, Americans don’t like to read, especially at the movies. While Bong Joon-ho’s latest has never come close to hitting Marvel money, its run has been impressive, especially after it wound up dominating this year’s Oscars. In fact, it’s about to become the third highest-grossing foreign-language film, and will almost certainly take the second spot soon as well.
Deadline noted a nice milestone, namely that it crossed the $50 million mark in North America. (Meanwhile, it’s grossed almost $175 internationally so far.) On the list of top foreign-language grossers in American theaters, Parasite now sits at the number four spot, having recently passed the Eugenio Derbez comedy Instructions Not Included, which netted $44.4 million in 2013.
Parasite’s next goal post: the Jet Li-Maggie Cheung-Tony Leung martial arts extravaganza Hero, which made $53.7 million in 2003. After that, it’s a mere few million more to nab the number two spot, currently occupied by Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, which made $57 million in 1998. (These numbers, of course, are not adjusted for inflation.)
Last weekend, its second after its Oscar domination, Parasite added another $3 million to its North American haul, down 47% from the weekend prior. That means it may be a minute before it overtakes Hero, much less Life is Beautiful, but neither seems unlikely. One record it almost certainly won’t nab is the top spot: It would take a miracle for it to pass the $128.1 million take of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from the year 2000. But silver’s nothing to sneeze at, especially considering Parasite doesn’t have butt-kicking, nor an easily digestible/sellable hook. Kudos again to Director Bong!