Following the unexpected victory of "Parasite" at the Cannes Film Festival, box office prospects for the film in South Korea have improved substantially. A representative from CJ ENM has compared the movie's current reservation rates to "Train to Busan" and "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" in terms of pre-release vigor.
The improvement in the movie's prospects is surprising, given the difficulty director Bong Joon-ho had in securing investors for the project. In contrast to "Snowpiercer" and "Okja", both high-profile high concept projects with marketable Hollywood actors, "Parasite" has been billed as peculiar South Korean class commentary grounded in the real world with dark comedy. Not just the premise, but even the title is difficult to succintly explain, as the word implies fantastical science fiction trappings.
With the Cannes win, "Parasite" is now on pace to revitalize the artistic image of South Korean film both at home and abroad. Throughout June the film will open in France, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan. In August "Parasite" will appear in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and it's slated for a November release in the United States, just in time for award season.
"Parasite" may also benefit from the success of "Burning" last year, which put South Korean film in serious international award conversations for the first time in a long time, and which also explored similar class consciousness themes. However, "Burning" had only respectable box office success domestically, with a bit over 500,000 admissions, driven largely by Yoo Ah-in's star power. "Parasite" is currently on track to make a much bigger impact with a mainstream audience.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] Projections for "Parasite" at Domestic Box Office Improve Following Palme D'Or Win"
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