Mrs Brown: D’Sensation too much for Ronan Keating's Goddess

Keating’s Aussie musical among the movies steamrolled by the Brendan O’Carroll juggernaut

No-go zone: Ronan Keating with Laura Michelle Kelly  in Goddess

No-go zone: Ronan Keating with Laura Michelle Kelly in Goddess

Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 11:16

Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough, Michael Bay. Despite last week’s glitzy Dublin premiere . . . despite the presence of two Irish actors . . . despite Jack Reynor coming second only to Mark Wahlberg in terms of screen time . . . Transformers: Age of Extinction proved no match for Brendan O’Carroll in a dress.

Across the water, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie tumbled to the third spot, just behind Transformers and How to Train Your Dragon 2. But here, even with a drop of 34 per cent in ticket sales, D’ Movie kept on keeping on, earning €541,065 from 65 sites and a running total that has already crossed €2 million.

Well, it did have the biggest opening weekend of any Irish film ever last weekend, almost doubling the existing record set by Michael Collins way back in 1996.

All told, the film has made €9,289,616 in the UK and ROI. That’s not quite up there with The Inbetweeners big-screen transfer (which debuted with an astonishing £13.2 million in 2011). But that film wasn’t facing down the World Cup and Wimbledon.

In Ireland, if Mrs Brown has tread upon the bigger toes of dragons and robots that turn into trucks, that’s likely because the film’s 15A rating has been overlooked by parents. Cinema operators have noted a huge demand among young family groups, who are prepared to treat the rating as it was intended: as a guide, not a hard and fast rule.

As noted here last time, the antiquated notion that ladies would sashay towards the nearest chick flick during the World Cup is just that. Very few of this year’s big counterprogramming ideas have worked. Walking on Sunshine has already exited the top 10 with a €34,000 whimper.

Of last week’s many older-audience “magnets”, only Mr Morgan’s Last Love managed healthy screen averages (earning more than €12,000 from just four sites). Despite the success of its source novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Through a Window made just €8,038 from seven prints. Cycling with Molière, meanwhile, earned a disastrous €868.

Smaller releases struggled against larger movie animals and various sports events: Love Eternal recorded €1,113 in receipts – not exactly boffo biz for the Irish co-production, but some way ahead of The Anomaly. The thriller went unnoticed without an Irish press screening and made just €743 from three sites. Goddess, an Aussie musical starring Ronan Keating, was also not screened for Irish critics. The result? Total lack of audience awareness and just €92 from two locations. Ouch.

The decision to open without a press show also had an unhappy effect on Chef’s business. The well-regarded comedy starrinbg Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr wasn’t screened for Irish critics, a factor that helped keep the film’s second weekend total at €22,936 – well below what we’d expect for the genre or personnel.

If Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie has taught us anything, it’s that public awareness trumps any number of poor notices.

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