The Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. backed co-productions The Lobster and Love & Friendship continue their impressive runs in international markets, with the former performing strongly in the US, and the latter entering the Top 10 in the UK, the US, and The Netherlands.
The Whit Stillman directed Love & Friendship is performing better than its compatriot, rising up the US box-office charts to the 9th spot, taking an impressive $2,496,000 over the 3 days, and just over $3.1m for the 4-day Memorial weekend. That’s an increase of 345.9% in takings off the back of an increase of 446 screens. In its third week of release the film managed to post the 7th highest per-screen average and has now taken more than $4m. That pace is similar to Jon Favreau’s Chef, which ultimately ended up with more than $30m in the US, so things are looking good for the Austen adaptation. In the UK the film opened in the Top 10, posting an impressive screen average of £3,267, and earning £375,771 over the 4-day Bank Holiday weekend. The film also opened at number 9 in the Dutch box-office, taking €60,869 from 36 screens.
Love & Friendship is based on Stillman’s adaptation of the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan, an early complete work that Austen never submitted for publication, that describes the schemes of the main character, the widowed Lady Susan, as she seeks a new husband for herself and one for her daughter.
The film stars Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Tom Bennett, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry, Emma Greenwell, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Lochlainn O Mearáinn, and Morfydd Clark. Filming took place in Ireland in February and March of last year, with Katie Holly of Blinder Films as producer, and Kieron J. Walsh as executive producer. Love & Friendship is a Westerly Films production in association with Blinder Films, Chic Films, Revolver Films, the Irish Film Board, Arte and the Netherlands Film Fund.
The Lobster added 92 new screens (up to 116) and doubled its earnings to date, taking $725,092 to bring it to $1,564,186 overall. That was good enough to take the number 12 spot in the US weekend charts.The film will continue to expand next week as part of US distributor A24’s phased roll-out.
The Lobster is a love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. A desperate Man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.
The Lobster is written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou and produced by Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Executive Producers are Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender. The Lobster is an Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, working across production, distribution, and exhibition. Element Pictu... More, Scarlet Films, Faliro House, Haut et Court, Lemming Film co-production in association with Limp, with financing from the Irish Film Board.
Elsewhere in the US Angry Birds dropped from 1 to 3, as X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through The Looking Glass opened at 1 and 2 respectively, Angry Birds, which is co-directed by Irish-man Fergal Reilly has so far grossed over $230m worldwide. John Carney’s Sing Street is also still on release in the US, and has taken in $2,764,974 at US box office to date. Sing Street is also on release in the UK, where it has taken more than £1.15m (including the Irish returns).
Last year, Irish films took over $53 million at the international box office, with a number of films selling every territory across the world. Love & Friendship is out now in Irish cinemas. The Lobster is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD.