John Carney’s Sing Street started its cinematic run in the US over the weekend. Opening in limited release, the film earned $68,979 from 5 locations.

This opening marks a slower start than those that greeted compatriots Room and Brooklyn, who earned $118,298 from 4 locations and $187,281 from 5 locations respectively. The Weinstein Company is positioning Sing Street as a slow-burner, a common strategy for low-budget films, and is hoping word-of-mouth (which has been over-whelming positive) will lend momentum to the film as it expands to more cities and screens in the coming weeks.

This is a strategy that worked brilliantly for both Brooklyn and Room, who expanded week on week up to 962 and 862 screens respectively. Those two benefited greatly from the their Oscar nominations too, with Brooklyn currently standing at $38,219,804, and Room at $14,671,137. These figures make them, respectively, the second-highest and eight-highest grossing Irish-made films in the US ever.

Sing Street will be hoping that the upswing in demand from US audiences for Irish stories, as well as critical and audience reactions will see it chart a similar course. Currently the film has been certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 98%, and has received encouragement from international stars such as James Corden, Rita Ora, and Darren Hayes.

Sing Street takes us back to 1980s Dublin where an economic recession forces Conor out of his comfortable private school and into survival mode at the inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious and über-cool Raphina, and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. The only problem now is, he doesn’t actually have a band! A host of Irish talent star in the film including Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Jack Reynor, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Aidan Gillen, as well as English actress Lucy Boynton.

Domestically Sing Street has earned almost €1m, making it one of the Top 10 releases of 2016 so far. It opens in the UK on May 20th, and is expected to do very well in that market.

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