John Michael McDonagh’s ‘The Guard’ has overtaken Ken Loach’s ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ in the Irish box office to become the most successful independent Irish film of all time. Since its release on July 8th, the film has also surpassed other Irish titles, including his brother Martin McDonagh’s first feature outing ‘In Bruges’, Joel Schumacher’s ‘Veronica Guerin’ and Paddy Breathnach’s ‘Man About Dog’, to gross over €4.13 million in Ireland.
Appetite for the Irish film is spreading around the globe with the film entering the top ten in the UK, Australia and New Zealand – in addition to a BO tally in the US of nearly $3million across 200 locations. Further bows in Germany, France and Italy are next on the agenda.
Written and directed by debut filmmaker John Michael McDonagh, ‘The Guard’ stars Brendan Gleeson as Sergeant Gerry Boyle alongside Don Cheadle as FBI agent Wendell Everett. The film is produced by his partners in Reprisal Films, Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo, along with Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe of Element Pictures (who also co-produced The Wind that Shakes The Barley).
Speaking on the success of the film, writer-director John Michael McDonagh commented that “It's been extremely satisfying for me that such a hard-drinking, whoring, drug-taking, anti-authoritarian character as Sergeant Gerry Boyle has struck so resounding a chord with Irish and International audiences.”
Element’s Ed Guiney said "This is a landmark film for Irish cinema and we are delighted to be part of it. It’s brilliant that it has hit so big at home but it’s also more important than ever that Irish film punches above its weight internationally – and its case proven with The Guard. "
James Hickey, Chief Executive, Irish Film Board said “This is great news for the Irish film industry. We’re delighted to see an Irish film compete successfully with major Hollywood blockbusters here in Ireland and also achieving a strong audience response worldwide. It’s a testament to the local and the international appeal of Irish film and the quality of filmmaking in Ireland. ”
Read IFTN’s interview with ‘The Guard’ producer Ed Guiney here.
‘The Guard’ is an Irish/UK co-production, backed by the Irish Film Board and Section 481 as well as International Financiers.