Tara Brady on the idiosyncrasies of the Irish box office
We know what you’ve been doing this month. You’ve been going to Les Misérables, haven’t you? With takings of $314,031,845 worldwide (including ¤1.6 million from this territory), the Oscar contender looks almost certain to leapfrog over Mamma Mia! and Chicago to become the second biggest movie musical of all time. It may even topple Grease from the top spot.
Les Mis, despite a healthy ¤220,959 showing last weekend, wasn’t even the nation’s favourite film. That honour fell to Lincoln, with its ¤324,536 take. It’s not usual for US presidential biopics to make that kind of noise on this side of the Atlantic. In ROI, however, Daniel Day-Lewis counts as a major box office player. There Will Be Blood did more than
“Pi’s success is due, in part, to the family trade. For the same reason, the unlovely Parental Guidance clings to the top 10”
a quarter of its UK business here.
Ditto Quentin. Django Unchained is another January winner with ¤754,875 and the certainty of passing the million mark. Tarantino has always played well here. Even lesser outings and minor works – Death Proof, you say? – have rustled up disproportionate business in Ireland.
Are these titles all coasting their way to superior January trade on the back of Oscar nominations? That seems doubtful. The heavily tipped Silver Linings Playbook is currently languishing at No 26 in the Irish box office, having trickled its way to a rather unimpressive ¤358,373. The Sessions took only ¤812 from three sites last weekend. Zero Dark Thirty, for all its pre-release swagger, debuted with an unremarkable ¤140,423 this week.
Meanwhile, films with fewer nominations continue to thrive. To date, The Impossible has notched up an implausible ¤1.3 million from the 26 counties. Down the chart, Argo’s healthy running total (¤1.2 million) has earned the film a minor re-release into 12 locations. Life of Pi continues to thrive with ¤1.5 million.
Pi’s success is due, in part, to family trade. For the same reason, the unlovely Parental Guidance is clinging to the top 10 for a fifth week with ¤844,247, Rise of the Guardians is still the 13th biggest movie in Ireland after nine weeks, and Tinkerbell has winged her way past half a million euro.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the chart, there’s the JDIFF box office to contend with. By now festival punters have surely heard that Joss Whedon’s unveiling of Much Ado About Nothing is sold out (no, we can’t get you a ticket), and be aware: The Body, White Elephant, The Place Beyond the Pines and the sublime Blancanieves are all selling very fast.