Bobby Sands: 66 Days has achieved the highest opening weekend ever at the Irish box office for an Irish made documentary, taking in €50,933, over its opening weekend including previews.

The film, which was released in Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution, is now the second highest (non-concert) documentary opening in Ireland, after Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. The film pushed last year’s record holder, Amy, into 3rd place and surpassed previous Irish record holderThe Queen of Ireland.

Brendan J. Byrne’s critically acclaimed and controversial documentary which is a portrait of the Irish Republican’s 66-day hunger strike has garnered much publicity and debate on both sides of the border. The film played in a total of 16 cinemas in the Republic and 9 cinemas in Northern Ireland and despite the good weather, the opening of the Olympics, and the GAA football quarter-finals, and GAA Hurling semi-final, the film attracted a significant audience, with many cinemas reporting sold out screenings.

Commenting on the result, Patrick O’Neill MD of Wildcard said:

It’s a great achievement for Bobby Sands: 66 Days to break this Box Office record, and very rewarding for everyone at Wildcard and Fine Point who worked so hard on the film. Brendan and Trevor are great filmmakers, and they have made a stunning film about a true Irish Icon that is resonating with Irish audiences across the island of Ireland.

At 17, Bobby Sands was interested in girls, soccer and music. Ten years later he led a prison protest against the conditions in Northern Ireland’s infamous H-Blocks that grabbed the attention of the whole world. Seeing himself as a soldier in a conflict, Bobby Sands starved for the right to be recognised as a political prisoner. The film’s narrative is comprised of Sands’ own words, drawn from his hunger strike diary, which gives a powerful and personal insight into the man and his beliefs as he embarked on his final journey.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days continues to screen in cinemas nationwide this week.

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