The Most Successful Foreign Films in America

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

10. The Postman (1995)
> Domestic ticket sales: $46.0 million
> International ticket sales: Not available
> IMDb audience score: 7.7/10 (36,400 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (35 votes)
> Directed by: Michael Radford

Not to be confused with Kevin Costner’s 1997 sci-fi effort of the same name (its Italian title is “Il postino”), this is the story of a simple postman (Massimo Troisi) who’s helped by exiled poet Pablo Neruda in wooing the woman of his dreams. The film’s captivating performances and touching themes earned rave reviews. Troisi tragically died just after principal photography wrapped.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

9. Like Water for Chocolate (1993)
> Domestic ticket sales: $47.9 million
> International ticket sales: Not available
> IMDb audience score: 7.1/10 (17,922 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (46 votes)
> Directed by: Alfonso Arau

Forbidden love and epicurean delight collide in this Mexican romantic drama with elements of magical realism. Director Alfonso Arau adapted it from a novel and screenplay by his then-wife Laura Esquivel. It was the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the USA at the time of its release.

Source: Courtesy of Pantelion Films

8. Instructions Not Included (2013)
> Domestic ticket sales: $50.1 million
> International ticket sales: $63.1 million
> IMDb audience score: 7.5/10 (30,949 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 57% (21 votes)
> Directed by: Eugenio Derbez

When a daughter is left at his doorstep, a freewheeling bachelor becomes an overnight parent in this Mexican dramedy. The story takes a heart-wrenching turn when the mother returns after six years, wanting her child back. Eugenio Derbez directed, co-wrote, co-produced, co-edited, and stars.

Source: Courtesy of Picturehouse

7. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
> Domestic ticket sales: $52.6 million
> International ticket sales: $64.6 million
> IMDb audience score: 8.2/10 (660,229 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (241 votes)
> Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Director Guillermo del Toro briefly strayed from Hollywood to direct this Spanish-Mexican fantasy. Set five years into the Francoist era, it follows a young girl (Ivana Baquero) into a vivid netherworld. It appeared on a number of critics’ Top 10 lists and won three Academy Awards.

Source: Courtesy of Neon

6. Parasite (2019)
> Domestic ticket sales: $53.4 million
> International ticket sales: $209.8 million
> IMDb audience score: 8.5/10 (759,487 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 99% (468 votes)
> Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Movie-lovers are still talking about the twisty plot points and socio-economic themes of this darkly comic thriller. Under various guises, an impoverished family slinks their way into an upper class household. It was the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes and also the first non-English-language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

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