THE GUARD has overtaken THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY in the Irish box-office to become the most successful independent Irish film of all time. Overtaking other successful Irish titles including IN BRUGES, VERONICA GUERIN & MAN ABOUT DOG, THE GUARD has now grossed over €4.13 million in Ireland. This figure is also significantly ahead of other heavy-weight films this year like THE HANGOVER 2, THE KINGS SPEECH, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.
THE GUARD is also finding audiences around the world and has been in the top 10 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand already this month. In the US, it has grown week on week and now in its sixth week with a box-office total of nearly $3m million and it has now expanded close to 200 screens in the US. With further releases planned for later this year in Germany, France, Italy and Holland, we expect THE GUARD to become one of the most successful Irish film exports in recent times.
Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, the film is produced by his partners in Reprisal Films, Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo, along with Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures (who also co-produced THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY). Element Pictures Distribution is distributing the film in Ireland.
Speaking on the phenomenal success of the film, writer-director John Michael McDonagh commented that ‘It’s been extremely satisfying for me that such a hard-drinking, whoring, drug-taking, anti-authoritarian character as Sergeant Gerry Boyle has struck so resounding a chord with Irish and International audiences.’
On behalf of Element Ed Guiney said ‘This is a landmark film for Irish cinema and we are delighted to be part of it. Its brilliant that it has hit so big at home but its also more important than ever that Irish film punches above its weight internationally – and its case proven with The Guard.’
James Hickey, Chief Executive, Irish Film Board said ‘This is great news for the Irish film industry. We’re delighted to see an Irish film compete successfully with major Hollywood blockbusters here in Ireland and also achieving a strong audience response worldwide. It’s a testament to the local and the international appeal of Irish film and the quality of filmmaking in Ireland.’
Speaking on behalf of Reprisal Films, Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo said: ‘We are thrilled that the Irish public have taken the film to their hearts in such numbers. To become the biggest Irish film of all time is an incredible honour for a British production company with its first feature! We thank John Michael McDonagh, our partner at Reprisal Films, for his incredible work as writer-director and we will always be in debt to Brendan Gleeson for his genius performance as Sergeant Gerry Boyle. ‘
THE GUARD is an Irish/UK co-production, backed by the Irish Film Board and Section 481 as well as International Financiers. It’s produced by Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo for Reprisal Films and Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures.