Everything was peachy for Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed Parasite, as it latched on to the specialty box office this weekend, dominating with an estimated gross of $376,264 and a per-screen average $125,421. That makes it the highest for 2019 and tops the opening of La La Land in 2016. It has also earned the title of highest per-screen average for a foreign language of all-time. It now ranks the 18th highest per-screen average of all-time and 8th highest per-screen average for all live-action films — and the record-breaking doesn’t stop there.
Neon’s socially-tinged dark comedy about two families whose lives get entangled played to sold-out houses with its limited opening. In New York at the IFC Center, it took the crown for the theater’s best opening from Boyhood. On the west coast, it opened at the Landmark and special screenings at the Arclight Hollywood, which received standing ovations before Joon Ho and actors Song Kang Ho and Park So Dam participated in Q&As. All of this bodes well for word-of-mouth popularity, as well as the film’s position to be an awards season frontrunner.
As it sits proudly at a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the top spot on Metacritic as the top-reviewed film of the year, it will expand its excellence to more theaters in New York and in Los Angeles next week, with additional theaters in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
We’re all very excited to see where it goes in the coming weeks’ expansions,” said Elissa Federoff, Neon’s head of theatrical distribution. “We knew we had something special that audiences would love, but this has exceeded expectations in all the best ways. Director Bong is one of the greatest filmmakers and we can’t wait for audiences all over the country to experience Parasite.”
Elsewhere in weekend openings in the specialty box office, a handful of movies whimpered in comparison to Parasite. Matson Films’ The Dead Center opened at an estimated $6,451 on 10 screens, while the documentary Gift took in $5,126 on 2 screens. Rounding out the bunch were High Strung Free Dance, which earned $52,716 on 106 screens, while eOne’s Matthias & Maxine played on 50 screens to a weekend gross of $79,468.
Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory continued to expand with confidence to 23 screens, with an estimated $289,147 for the weekend, taking its cume to $574,571. Deadline has learned that the Sony Pictures Classics drama had notable runs in New York and Los Angeles, as well as Chicago, San Francisco and DC.
The musical biopic Judy from Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment continues to sing in its third week, coming in at number seven in the top 10 movies for the weekend and bringing in an estimated weekend gross of $3,255,353 on a whopping 1,627 screens. This brings its cume to $14,974,204.
Deadline also learned that for a very brief moment — and in a surprise move — Netflix posted grosses for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which had limited runs in 16 markets on the same day it hit the streaming platform. Although the numbers were taken down with a swiftness, we have learned that screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse theaters were fairly decent.
The Bollywood film War from Yash Raj Films continued to perform well, with 330 runs in 111 markets, netting an estimated $832,000 for the weekend, bringing its cume to approximately $3.6 million.
The Dead Center (Matson Films) – Week 1 [10 Screens], Weekend $6,451, Average $645
Gift (Matson Films) – Week 1 [2 Screens] Weekend $5,126, Average $2,563
High Strung Free Dance (Atlas) Week 1 [106 Screens] Weekend $52,716, Average $497
Matthias & Maxine (eOne) – Week 1 [50 Screens] Weekend $79,468, Average $1,589
Parasite (Neon) – Week 1 [3 Screens] Weekend $376,264, Average $125,421
My People, My Country (CMC) – Week 2 [80 Screens] Weekend $296,000, Average $3,705, Cume $2,135,000
Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 2 [23 Screens] Weekend $289,147, Average $12,572, Cume $574,571
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (Snowflake Cinema) – Week 2 [124 Theaters] – Weekend $180,629, Average $1,457, Cume $1,262,000
War (Yash Raj Films) – Week 2 [305 Theaters] Weekend $832,000, Average $2,728, Cume $3,613,000
Brittany Runs a Marathon (Amazon Studios) – Week 8 [110 Theaters] Weekend $66,679, Average $606, Cume $6,977,507
The Farewell (A24) – Week 14 [39 Screens] Weekend $38,810, Average $970, Cume $17,563,795
Honeyland (Neon) – Week 12 [24 Screens] Weekend $9,300, Average $388, Cume $673,589
Judy (Roadside Attractions) – Week 3 [1,627 Screens] Weekend $3,255,353, Average $2,000, Cume $14,974,204
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich Enterainment/1091) – Week 6 [168 Theaters], Weekend $262,080, Average $1,560, Cume $3,231,298
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Abramorama) – Week 8 [16 Screens] Weekend $17,171, Average $1,073, Cume $516,836
Monos (Neon/Participant Media) – Week 5 [50 Screens], Weekend $23,400 Average $468, Cume $330,647
Official Secrets (IFC Films) – Week 8 [43 Theaters] Weekend $33,841, Average $787, Cume $1,882,911
The Peanut Butter Falcon (Roadside Attractions/Armory Films) – Week 9 [304 Theaters] Weekend $278,567, Average $916, Cume $19,513,573
Where’s My Roy Cohn? (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 4 [57 Screens], Weekend $101,815, average $1,786, Cume $361,474