Sleeper comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel is operating at full capacity

Good show, chaps! Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Good show, chaps! Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 10:57

The traditional box office lull between awards season and the first superhero sighting of spring – Captain America 2 thunders into cinemas as we speak – has yielded a welcome surprise.

With a worldwide tally of $46,726,318, The Grand Budapest Hotel has just clipped past Fantastic Mr Fox’s $46,471,023 gross to become the third most successful Wes Anderson picture. It seems likely that the new one will ultimately overtake Anderson’s two previous biggest box office hits, The Royal Tenenbaums ($71,441,250) and Moonrise Kingdom ($68,263,166).

Last Sunday, three weeks into a gradually expanding Stateside release, Grand Budapest had earned $6.75 million from 304 US locations. That hefty $22,204 per-site average and a running American total of $13,626,318 bodes well for the film’s jump to 800 US screens this weekend.

Back in Ireland, Grand Budapest hit the top spot last weekend – its third in the asking – with €109,118 and a three-week total of €476,391 (€502,034 including Northern Ireland). In the UK, its £1.27 million take from 458 sites brings its running total to £6.31 million.

Why has Grand Budapest triumphed where so many other Anderson films have stumbled? Looking back at Moonrise Kingdom’s healthy performance in 2012, there’s some sense that mainstream auds finally “get” the Texan auteur. His new film’s splendid capering and an exemplary advertising campaign has brought in comedy seekers: this quarter has been unusually short on entries from that genre.

That’s proved good news for Ride Along, which has taken more than €300,000 here. It’s all the more impressive when compared with recent African-American comedies, including Best Man Holiday and About Last Night, the latter of which failed to crack this week’s top 10.

It has also proved good news for The Stag. Debuting director John Butler’s comedy is officially the first Irish box-office hit since the Hardy Bucks headed to Poland. Last weekend, The Stag’s €83,714 haul brought its running total to €421,004. It lags just behind the sleeker Need for Speed’s €91,003 (that’s €298,997 after two weeks in the market).

Muppets Most Wanted, meanwhile, occupies the second spot in the Irish chart from previews alone. The film releases here today having already pocketed a decent €210,483 from two weeks of previews.

Elsewhere, The Lego Movie has secured a place among 2014’s most profitable projects. The film made €83,357 in the ROI last weekend and continues to occupy the fifth spot in the chart after six weeks on release. It has already vacuumed up a massive €3,167,201. That’ll be a hard figure to beat.

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