ROT­TEN POTA­TOES

Tara Brady on the idio­syn­cra­sies of the Ir­ish box of­fice

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - OPINION -

Boom, baby. The big guns of sum­mer are al­ready here, give or take the odd Su­per­man re­boot. Man of Steel will have to be steely in­deed to com­pete with the stag­ger­ing €2.7mil­lion in Iron Man 3’ s Ir­ish kitty.

Last week­end, Fast and Furious 6 crept past €1,024,139,a nice stack on top of the film’s open­ing €535,967gam­bit. That to­tal was more than enough to see off the rub­bishy Great Gatsby, which hit the sec­ond spot last week with a lack­lus­tre €278,769,only to tum­ble down to fourth place af­ter seven days in the mar­ket­place.

The big­ger news story – and we’ve noted it around this parish many times of late – is the grow­ing dis­crep­ancy be­tween the top two spots in the box of­fice chart and ev­ery­thing else. The lower reaches of the top 10, in par­tic­u­lar, are down­right de­press­ing. All Stars came in ninth last week­end with an abysmal €3,315and a lowly run­ning to­tal of €114,911af­ter four weeks. 21 and Over polled sim­i­larly with €2,825at No 10 and an ac­cu­mu­la­tive €324,411.

Whither the seem­ingly in­sa­tiable Ir­ish ap­petite for dum­b­ass Amer­i­can come­dies? Oh yes. Here comes Hang­over 3 in the top spot with €497,061.As de­buts go, it’s not quite as im­pres­sive as Fast and Furious 6 and it’s cer­tainly no match for Hang­over 2. But it’s not half bad as long as the fim’s lack of qual­ity doesn’t in­ter­fere with its chart stick­ing power. (Lack of qual­ity, you may re­call, did lit­tle to dent the pre­vi­ous in­stall­ment’s loot.)

Epic, mean­while, must have been a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing for Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox, es­pe­cially given the film’s Ir­ish voice cast (Colin Far­rell, Chris O’Dowd). The lat­est of­fer­ing from Blue Sky An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios – the imprint be­hind the mighty and might­ily prof­itable Ice Age films – took €178,507on its open­ing week­end, or €313,508fac­tor­ing in pre­views.

Fox, of course, can af­ford to sit tight. If the flimsy All Stars can cling, bar­na­cle-like, to the lower ech­e­lons of the top 10, Epic can ex­pect se­ri­ous hang time. There are very few kid-friendly ti­tles out there: hence Wreck-It Ralph’s €2mil­lion and count­ing eight weeks af­ter its ini­tial roll out.

That’s why The Croods is still play­ing in a mul­ti­plex near you. That film’s most re­cent €8,516haul brings its ROI take up to a stag­ger­ing €2,231,680.Only Iron Man 3 can com­pete with those num­bers.

Star Trek into Dark­ness, mean­while, de­served bet­ter but can’t com­plain: the film was still man­ag­ing more than six fig­ures last week­end and has a €1,252,478 haul af­ter three weeks. Go on, the Trek.

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