Parasite breaks The Passion of the Christ's UK box office record

Song Kang-ho in Parasite
Song Kang-ho in Parasite

Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite has finally toppled The Passion of the Christ as the highest-grossing foreign language film ever at the UK box office.

Mel Gibson’s religious drama has held the record since 2004 when it grossed £11,078,861, but it was overtaken by the Oscar-winning film this past weekend with Parasite’s current total standing at £11,458,707.

The Best Picture winning social drama was released on 7 February, 2020 sandwiched between its triumph at the BAFTAs and the Oscars, and was given a huge expansion the week after the Academy Awards. Originally released into just 136 venues it expanded into over 400 sites across the UK and Ireland on Valentine’s Day after a record-breaking first weekend at the box office.

Read more: Tom Hanks leads cheers for Parasite

The film grossed £1,079,102 from 136 venues in its first week, with cinemas across the UK and Ireland reporting multiple sell-outs through the weekend. Including previews, which took place with a live Q&A with Bong Joon Ho on 3 February, the film opened with £1,389,856: new record for a subtitled film in the UK.

Jim Caviezel set to reprise Jesus role in Passion of the Christ sequel
Jim Caviezel set to reprise Jesus role in Passion of the Christ sequel

Cinemas reported an 81% increase in ticket sales in its second week of release taking £2.5 million, with the film hitting second place in the UK top ten behind new release Sonic The Hedgehog.

Mel Gibson’s 2004 film was a box office phenomenon itself, taking $622 million globally. The blood-soaked biblical tale was filmed in Hebrew, Latin and Aramaic, and was the highest-grossing R-rated film ever in North America and Canada until it was dethroned by Deadpool in 2016.

Mel Gibson is said to be working on a sequel titled The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection, with actor Jim Caviezel in talks to reprise his role as Jesus Christ.

To date Parasite has grossed $246 million and counting.