TARA BRADYon the idiosyncrasies of the Irish box office
HOLY PRODUCT Placement, Batman: James Bond is coming up fast from the rear. Typical. In a late-breaking development from Ireland’s hit parade, we have a new contender for 2012’s box office crown. As of last Monday, Skyfall had hoovered up some €3,607,433 over two weekends.
Anecdotally, exhibitors spoke of the same quasi-mythical customer who last darkened the drive-in when The Wind That Shakes the Barley came to town. And Bond’s family-friendly 12A rating ensured that all ages could savour the secret agent’s latest misogynistic, imperialist adventure.
Across the sea, Bond was even bigger business, amassing the equivalent of €66.87 million in just 10 days. In the UK, Skyfall will almost certainly catch up with reigning box-office champ The Dark Knight Rises and its €70.37 tally after 16 weeks.
Where will it end? This week Skyfall hit $289,052,543 worldwide – and that’s before it opens in US cinemas today.
Still, we’re not entirely convinced that Bond can beat Batman on Irish turf. Skyfall may well leapfrog over Ted (the nation’s current second favourite film, with €4.1 million), but Dark Knight’s €5.5 might just be too big an ask for a 50-year-old English spy.
We’re excited about this final stretch. Last year Bridesmaids sat prettily on top of the chart, just out of Harry Potter’s reach, for months. We now come to November with questions and caveats: Do Twihard girls still think K-Stew is a trampire? Or have they forgiven her enough to give the franchise a final-instalment bonus? (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 took $1,328,111,219 to Part 1’s $956,399,711.)
And then there’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Just when we thought the phrase “Too big to fail” had lost all credibility, along comes a super-saturation release pattern to rule them all. It helps that no rival studio is taking on Peter Jackson’s second three-part Tolkien epic with anything as flashy or viable as a superhero picture.
It’s tough at the top and its tougher down below. Under Bond’s top spot, the Irish chart atrophied. There were no changes in the top five this fortnight, with Skyfall, Madagascar 3, Hotel Transylvania, Taken 2 and Paranormal Activity 3 all holding their spots. New releases floundered accordingly: Victoria Justice vehicle Fun Size attracted enough tweens to debut in sixth place. But the film’s underwhelming €1,092 screen average only looks good beside Silent Hill 2’s appalling €851 per site.
And now for the happy numbers: well done Rust and Bone for hitting €14,402 and the top 13 from six locations, and kudos to The Shining reissue for this week’s fourth highest screen average and a tidy €8,118 take.
Despite fresh competition from the horror-comedy Stitches, What Richard Did continues on as the nation’s current favourite Irish film. After five weeks, the drama is holding steady at No 14 with €341,699 and heavy footfall from Movies@Dundrum in particular.