Tara Brady on the idio­syn­cra­sies of the Ir­ish box of­fice

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

The song re­mains the same: there’s just no room for the lit­tle guy in a block­buster-packed sum­mer sched­ule.

Ir­ish film folks take heed and be­ware the ides of the post-March cal­en­dar: af­ter three weeks on re­lease, Lenny Abra­ham­son’s ex­cel­lent Frank has limped out of the top 10 with €167,892.Else­where, Hill Street, a pleas­ing new Ir­ish skate­board­ing doc, de­buted with €1,754from two sites.

That may not sound like boffo box of­fice, but it’s way bet­ter av­er­ages than last weekend’s mu­sic doc­u­men­tary: An­other Day, An­other Time: Cel­e­brat­ing the Mu­sic of In­side Llewyn Davis took just €456from two sites.

Mean­while the ti­tan tent-poles are go­ing at it: af­ter six weeks on re­lease, The Amaz­ing Spi­der Man 2 has €1,731,216in the Ir­ish kitty; Godzilla has taken €992,039af­ter just two week­ends.

This week’s big win­ner, how­ever, is X-Men: Days of Fu­ture Past, which (in­clud­ing pre­views) had €694,616in the bank by close of busi­ness on Sun­day. In­ter­na­tion­ally, the sev­enth X-Men film has al­ready passed the $300 mil­lion mark.

Ex­pect that ti­tle to hang on in there as this week’s com­edy show­down gets un­der­way. De­spite some un­for­tu­nate re­cent tweets from Messrs Ro­gen and Apa­tow, reign­ing com­edy champ Bad Neigh­bours is still go­ing strong in the No 3 spot: the film has taken €1,573,062to date. But will this week’s A Mil­lion Ways to Die in the West and next week’s 22 Jump Street tread on its toes?

Maybe not. Af­ter all, Blended, the lat­est Adam San­dler joint, did lit­tle to dent the Neigh­bours jug­ger­naut. Back in the day, a film in which Adam San­dler in­haled he­lium and read from the phone­book was a guar­an­teed ROI No 1. But times change. But Blended de­buted here with an un­spec­tac­u­lar €63,213from 58 sites and scored just $14,284,031 State­side.

Glob­ally, this week’s big­gest box of­fice story is Frozen. Lin­ger­ing prints dot­ted around the planet brought the Dis­ney film up to the $1,219,285,529 this week. It leapfrogged over Iron Man 3 to be­come the fifth big­gest gross­ing film of all time, some two months af­ter it be­came the big­gest gross­ing an­i­ma­tion film of all time. Can Dis­ney’s sim­i­larly themed Malef­i­cent re­peat the trick? We shall see.

Back at home, Walt Dis­ney Ire­land knows well the value of lin­ger­ing. Bub­bling just un­der the top 10, Mup­pets Most Wanted –a film once dis­missed by box-of­fice an­a­lysts as a flop – passed the €1,116,684mark.

That’s not all that far away from the Repub­lic’s favourite films of 2014 thus far: The Lego Movie (€3,371,472), The Wolf of Wall Street (€2,327,827), 12 Years a Slave (€1,803,480), The Amaz­ing Spi­der Man 2 (€1,731,216), Cal­vary (€1,577,062), Bad Neigh­bours (€1,573,062), Amer­i­can Hus­tle (€1,374,861), Frozen (€1,334,518), Cap­tain Amer­ica: The Win­ter Sol­dier (€1,329,907)and Mr Pe­abody & Sher­man (€1,183,663).

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