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Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ racks up US$1.3 mln over weekend in U.S.

October 21, 2019
This Oct. 8, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho posing for a portrait at the Whitby Hotel screening room in New York to promote his film "Parasite." The film will open in theaters Friday having already amassed $70.9 million in Bong's native South Korea. In May, "Parasite" won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a first for a Korean film. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)

This Oct. 8, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho posing for a portrait at the Whitby Hotel screening room in New York to promote his film “Parasite.” The film will open in theaters Friday having already amassed $70.9 million in Bong’s native South Korea. In May, “Parasite” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a first for a Korean film. (AP)

Cannes-winning black comedy “Parasite” racked up nearly US$1.3 million over the weekend in the United States, industry data showed Monday.

Directed by eclectic South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho, the film, released stateside on Oct. 11, ranked 11th at the U.S. box office during the Friday-Sunday period, with a cumulative total of $1.8 million, according to data from Box Office Mojo. It is now being screened in 33 theaters in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.

Walt Disney’s dark fantasy “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” topped the list with $36 million in 3,7heaters across the U.S.

Venice-winning psychological thriller “Joker” earned $29.2 million in 4,090 theaters over the three-day period and zombie comedy “Zombieland: Double Tap,” which opened at 3,468 cinemas, raked in $26.7 million.

Moreover, the per-screen average for “Parasite” of $37,616, far outnumbers the $9,499 set by “Maleficent” and the $7,141 of “Joker.”

Opening in New York and Los Angeles in a total of three theaters, “Parasite” earned an estimated $384,000 for the first weekend, with a per-screen average of $128,000.

It was the best per-screen haul since “La La Land” in 2016, and the biggest per-screen number for any international film opening in the U.S.

Earlier, “Parasite” was selected as South Korea’s entry to the best international feature film category at the upcoming Academy Awards in February.

The film, backed by U.S. distributor Neon, is expected to be one of the strongest Oscar contenders in the category, and it is also considered a candidate for the best picture and best director awards.

Bong and lead actors including Song Kang-ho have been on the awards campaign in the U.S., which stretches to February.

The flick revolves around two families, one rich and one poor, who become entangled, leading to a series of unexpected violent mishaps. It attracted more than an audience of more 10 million people in South Korea alone.

This image released by Neon shows Woo-sik Choi, from left, Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang and So-dam Park in a scene from "Parasite." (AP)

This image released by Neon shows Woo-sik Choi, from left, Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang and So-dam Park in a scene from “Parasite.” (AP)

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