18 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish films ‘The Lobster’ and ‘Love & Friendship’ top US Specialty Box Office
16 May 2016 : Seán Brosnan
‘Love & Friendship’ and ‘The Lobster’ both open strongly in the US
Two Irish films, ‘The Lobster’ and ‘Love & Friendship’, topped the US speciality (Independent) box office on release in the US at the weekend. Both films are funded by the IFB.

‘The Lobster’ which won the Jury prize at Cannes Film Festival last year, also scored this year’s best ‘per theatre average opening in any film category, with a theatre average of $47K. Starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weiss, the film is produced by Dublin-based Element Pictures, who also produced the Oscar nominated film ‘Room’.

The Jane Austen period drama ‘Love & Friendship’ was a very close second with a weekend screen average of $33,187, also one of the year’s highest. Produced by Dublin production company Blinder Films and starring Kate Beckinsale, the film was acclaimed after its’ Sundance premiere earlier this year.

These unprecedented opening weekend figures for Irish creative talent in the US Specialist Box Office will be maximised through strategic distribution campaigns which have been engaged for both films, and which will continue to build in the US over the coming weeks and months in a bid to further consolidate the huge recognition for Irish film.

Commenting on the news James Hickey Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board said; “It’s a major achievement to have two IFB funded films top the US speciality release box office in one weekend. The US theatrical distribution market is very difficult to crack for independent titles and these films show that international audiences are engaging with Irish films. Irish producers are making a major impact internationally and the success that these two films have enjoyed underlines the quality of films that Irish producers are working on.”

John Carney’s ‘Sing Street’ is also currently on release in the US, and has taken in almost $2 million at US box office to date. Last year, Irish films took over $53 million at the international box office with a number of films selling every territory across the world.

‘The Lobster’ has already taken over $8.7 million worldwide to date was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and filmed on location in Kerry.

Produced by Blinder Films and filmed on location in Ireland, ‘Love & Friendship’ was a major hit at Sundance earlier this year. Directed by Whit Stillman, it stars Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel and Stephen Fry. Adapted from a Jane Austen novel, the film follows the machinations of the beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon, who seeks refuge from rumour and gossip about her dalliances and plots new conquests at the estate of her in-laws.

BS IFTN Filmography: 'The Lobster'
BS IFTN Filmography: 'Love & Friendship'
BS IFTN Who's Who: James Hickey - CEO of The Irish Film Board
BS IFTN Directory: Irish Film Board

IFTA Q&A Series: Joanne O’Brien on Costume Design
IFTA Q&A Series: Eleanor Bowman on Cinematography
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