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.
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.