Lance Daly’s famine revenge western Black ’47 has achieved the highest opening for an Irish film in Ireland since John Crowley’s Oscar-nominated Brooklyn in 2015.

After just one weekend, which included sold out shows nationwide, Black ’47 is now the number one Irish film of the year across all of Ireland with a total box office of €444k including previews.  Republic of Ireland delivered €392k, with an impressive screen average of over €5k.  It is the biggest opening weekend of any Wildcard Distribution title to date, and sits just outside the top 10 openers for 2018.

To put the figures into context, Black ’47 opened bigger than Oscar nominees Lady Bird  and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and just behind Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Black ’47 is set during the Great Irish Famine and stars Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), Jim Broadbent (Oscar®winner for Iris) and the prolific Irish screen and stage actor Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Michael Collins).  Joining them are rising international actors James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom, The Drop) and Freddie Fox (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) along with a strong young Irish cast including Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Moe Dunford (Michael Inside, Patrick’s Day) and Sarah Greene (Noble, Penny Dreadful).

It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his family.  He’s seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland that has brutalised his people and where there seems to be no law and order. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets a destructive path to avenge his family.

The screenplay was written by PJ Dillon (Rewind), Pierce Ryan (Standby), Eugene O’Brien (Eden) and Lance Daly (Life’s a Breeze, Kisses).  Produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films with Tim O’Hair, Arcadiy Golubovich and Jonathan Loughran, Black ’47 was financed by Primemeridian Entertainment, the Irish Film Board, the Luxembourg Film Fund, Wildcard Distribution, Altitude, BAI, TV3, Eurimages, Umedia, Samsa Films and Fastnet Films.

It’s a great result, and I am thrilled for all the staff in Wildcard and Fastnet Films, and especially director Lance Daly and producer Macdara Kelleher.  The filmmakers worked incredibly hard on the making of this brilliant film, and it’s very rewarding to see audiences from everywhere in Ireland turning out in such numbers to experience Black 47 on the big screen.  The results for Black ’47 are a fine example of what can be achieved with a shared vision between filmmaker and distributor, and close co-operation from an early stage in the filmmaking process. Patrick O’Neill, Managing Director – Wildcard Distribution

Congratulations to Lance Daly, Fastnet Films and the whole team behind the epic Irish film Black ’47. We are absolutely delighted to see Irish audiences coming out to watch this film in cinemas right across Ireland. Black 47 has received support from Screen Ireland over a number of years from early script stage, right through to production, demonstrating our long-term commitment to investing in talent and developing important Irish stories for the big screen. As the first film to be set against the backdrop of the Irish famine, Black 47 is important from a cultural perspective, as well as being a compelling thriller which will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. We hope the strong box office figures for this film, experienced over the weekend, continue into the coming weeks. We would encourage everyone not to miss this film.
James Hickey, Chief Executive – Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland

The box office news comes ahead of the films North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week and its UK (via Altitude Films) and US (via IFC Films) cinema releases on September 28th.

Altitude Films will distribute Black ’47 in UK cinemas from 28th September. IFC Films will distribute Black ’47 in US cinemas from 28th September.

Black ’47 continues to play in Irish cinemas this week.  To find out where it’s playing and book tickets: www.black47film.com

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