Sunday, May 26, 2024

Box Office: “Gemini Man” Zodiac Killer, “Joker” Nears $200 Million, Cannes Winner “Parasite” Sets Foreign Film Record


Cannes prize winner “Parasite,” from South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho set a record this weekend for foreign films. In just three theaters, the social satire made $376,264 or $125K per theater– one of the top openings ever. Little distributor Neon Pictures, which began ignominiously with a Michael Moore documentary and no logo, has a big hit on its hands. They’re headed to the Oscars, where they’ll have to take on Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory” with Antonio Banderas. Not bad.

“Parasite” is indeed a social satire about a family of grifters inveigling themselves into a wealthy household. It’s sort of like a soap opera on steroids, and the audience quickly begins rooting for the lower class family to get away with, well, murder. Things turn dark about halfway through, and then eschewing a happy fun ending, Bong Joon-Ho really goes for it Tarantino style.

Kudos to Neon for recognizing that this movie would strike a chord with American audiences.

Meanwhile, “Gemini Man” starring Will Smith eked out $20.5 million for the weekend, a little more than expected if the numbers hold. But it’s once of Smith’s poorest openings ever, and doesn’t bode well for its future.

In loftier worlds, “Joker” will cross $200 million US in the next day or so, by Tuesday. It’s now up to around $600 million worldwide with no end in sight.

At the other end of the spectrum, “Lucy in the Sky” from Fox Searchlight made nothing over the weekend and has a two week cume of $154,612.  Seeing the critics response, parent Disney has just buried this completely. It’s a tough deal for the actors and everyone who made it,

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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