Rotten Potatoes on the Irish appetite for dumbass American comedies

Tara Brady on a month at the Irish box office


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 €2.7 million 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 €535,967 gambit. 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.

Gatsby’s €150,138 take at the weekend suggest that the counterprogramming hasn’t worked here to the same extent as it did in the US, where it was released on Mother’s Day weekend.

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 €3,315 and a lowly running total of €114,911 after four weeks. 21 and Over polled similarly with €2,825 at 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 €178,507 on its opening weekend, or €313,508 factoring 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 €2 million 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 €8,516 haul 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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