Arresting debut for Connemara cop comedy
The week before the most successful film of the year opened (come on, what else is going to trump the last Potter?), the box-office figures threw up two very interesting results.
Taking more than ¤500,000 in Ireland alone, The Guard kicked aside various Bridesmaids and assorted Transformers to top the Irish charts. Such was its success, that, on domestic takings alone, The Guard managed to secure the No 5 spot on the combined UK and Irish hit parade and registered as the highest new entry in those territories. (And it doesn’t even open in the UK until August.)
Irish producers will be reading the entrails to explain the film’s extraordinary success. Decent reviews? An easily understood premise? Affection for Brendan Gleeson? The presence of a US star in Don Cheadle? A cunning release date? At any rate, all involved deserve congratulation.
One place below The Guard in the UK/Irish chart we find The Tree of Life. That placing is deceptive. The film opened on just 75 screens and, with takings of ¤406,000, it thus accrued a whopping screen average of around ¤6,100. (The Irish average was even higher). The only recent Palme d’Or winner that came close to those sorts of figures was The Wind That Shakes the Barley, which opened with ¤440,000.
All this must make disturbing reading for Icon Entertainment, which, after attempting to shuffle the release date, ended up losing The Tree of Life to 20th Century Fox. What really went on there?
Don Cheadle in box-office hit The Guard