Great news from the US as Indiewire is reporting that John Michael McDonagh’s Irish Film Board financed Calvary opened very strongly in independent cinemas.

The film made a more than respectable $72,000 from 4 cinemas for a per-location average of $18,000. That’s the second highest per-location average in the US, behind Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy which opened with an August record of $94m.

McDonagh’s last film, The Guard, earned a similarly impressive $19,209 at its first 4 cinemas, before expanding nationwide and taking $5.4 million. Fox Searchlight, who snapped up the film after it wowed at Sundance, said “The opening weekend figures fall right in line with our expectations” and that “Based on the reactions from various screenings we have held, we are aware of the film’s great playability and expect that good word of mouth will help to direct audiences to see Calvary.”

Calvary, which sees Brendan Gleeson play a priest haunted by a confession in which one of his parishioners threatens his life, took over €1.5 million in Ireland during its 10 week run. The film will expand to 8 additional cities in the US next week, as well as opening up in more cinemas around New York and LA.

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