Rotten Potatoes on why we hate Britain getting movies first

Numbers never lie. We love Iron Man, but we don’t love getting films after the UK does


Oh dear. As gloomily predicted in the previous instalment of this column, April really was the cruellest month for Irish movies. The car-crash style pile-up of way too many indigenous films over six weeks meant that everyone went away disappointed and empty-handed.

As the (long) month wore on, Irish prospects worsened considerably. Last weekend after five weeks in cinemas, King of the Travellers scraped its way to €30K; the excellent Good Vibrations left the top 20 mid-month with a lack- lustre €71,588; Jump opened to an appalling €3,812 from 10 sites two weeks ago then disappeared. The admirable Pilgrim Hill , a small bright spark on an otherwise dark horizon, has managed €69,333 to date – not bad for a picture everyone thought would be a hard sell.

Let’s hope lessons have been learned. This is a teeny, tiny market and a fragile, damaged national brand; there’s no room for this kind of competition. There are other months, you know, including nice quiet ones like March and September, when smaller movies don’t have to go toe-to-toe with Iron Man 3 .

Speaking of RDJ’s final bow as Tony Stark – we don’t really expect him to return for Avengers 2 after a reputed $50 million payday (plus points) and all that chatter about James Franco coming in, do we? – IM3 has already taken €1,848,339 in the ROI and counting.

The big box office story, meanwhile, came from across the pond, where the same picture has scored the second largest US opening of all time ($174.1 million), behind The Avengers ’ $207.4 million.

Is Tony Stark the most loved-up franchise character of all time? The answer is an emphatic “yes”. The golden algorithm suggests Iron Man 3 is heading for a grand American tally of around $350 million. The film has already scored $711,212,195 worth of business worldwide, so expect it to sail toward the billion-dollar mark within the next fortnight.

Back on the home front, the Irish appetite for crap knows no limits: the pee-poor 21 and Over mustered €99,031 last weekend and the numbingly idiotic Olympus Has Fallen sailed past €479,945 after three weeks.

We still heart Ryan Gosling: the muddled but interesting Place Beyond the Pines is hanging on to the No 6 spot with €343,533. And the grey-ish euro has nudged the lovely Love Is All You Need past €104,120. Meanwhile, despite a subject matter that can normally be relied upon to pull in audiences, the Oscar-nominated Gatekeepers failed to scare up even modest documentary business last weekend.

This is bad news for the incoming and delayed A Hijacking (opening next week) and for this weekend’s incoming and delayed Me and You . Irish auds are rightly turning their back on films not released day-and-date here and in Britain. UK-based distribution houses would do well to remember that Ireland is a country in its own right and not a region suited to London’s sloppy seconds. Take that, former colonial masters.

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