‘Parasite’ is a hit in French theaters

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‘Parasite’ is a hit in French theaters

This year’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winner “Parasite,” made a strong debut in France, setting a record for the highest first-week box office performance for a Korean movie, its overseas distributor said Wednesday.

Released on June 5, the family satire, directed by Bong Joon-ho, attracted 259,737 viewers to French cinemas through Sunday, according to CJ ENM Co.

It marks the highest first-week showing for any Korean film released in the country, surpassing the previous record of 235,371 set by Bong’s 2013 feature “Snowpiercer.”

“Parasite” ranked second at the weekly box office chart after Marvel’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” which brought in 498,000 viewers.

CJ ENM said ticket sales of “Parasite” in France will likely gain momentum, as the movie will be shown on 300 screens this week, up from 179 screens last week.

Among all Korean movies released in France, “Snowpiercer” is the most most-viewed, garnering a total of 680,000 viewers in 2013. “Chihwaseon” (2002) by Im Kwon-taek is next with 310,000, followed by “The Handmaiden” (2016) by Park Chan-wook with 300,000 and “Train to Busan” (2016) by Yeon Sang-ho.

Following the popularity of the film, U.S. media outlet Variety reported that Bong will be invited to this year’s Lumiere Film Festival.

The annual festival started in 2009 and has been held in Lyon, France, every October since. The film festival was named in the honor of Lumiere brothers who invented cinematography in Lyon in 1895. It’s one of the largest international festivals of classic cinema.

In Korea, “Parasite” has sat atop the local box office since its release on May 30, surpassing 7.3 million tickets sold as of Tuesday.

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