Prize-winning 'The Guard' predicted to take €3m at Irish box office


COMIC THRILLER The Guardis on course to become the most successful Irish film at the domestic box office since The Wind that Shakes the Barley,which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

To date The Guard, which stars Brendan Gleeson and US actor Don Cheadle, has taken €2.6 million at the Irish box office, and is predicted to surpass €3 million.

The film won the audience prize when it closed the Sarajevo film festival last weekend, where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were reported to have been in the audience.

The Ken Loach-directed war of independence film The Wind that Shakes the Barleytook €4 million at the Irish box office in 2006.

The Guardgrossed an average of $21,000 (€14,800) per screen in its opening weekend in the United States making it the second highest per screen opening in the US last weekend, albeit on only four screens.

Following the success of those initial screenings, Sony, its US distributor, is going to make the film available to more than 50 US cinemas in coming weeks.

Producer Ed Guiney said the success of The Guardshowed Irish audiences are receptive to homegrown films. “When you make an Irish film you want it to be enjoyed by Irish audiences, and we’re delighted that they are continuing to go and see it.”

He believed the film was on course to make back its €6 million cost even before it goes on general release worldwide.