By Shelley Marsden
Following its €1.6 million Irish box office haul early this year, Calvary starring Brendan Gleeson has had a strong opening weekend at the US box office.
The critically acclaimed film from John Michael McDonagh has taken an average of $18,000 per screen – the highest screen average for any independently released film last weekend in the United States, according to indiewire.com.
“The opening weekend figures fall right in line with our expectations,” Fox Searchlight’s SVP Frank Rodriguez said. “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.’”
American critics have lavished praise upon the production, in particular the central performance of Brendan Gleeson. The New Yorker magazine acclaimed Gleeson, saying that “any scene, whatever its mood, feels solidly earthed by his presence.”
USA Today described Gleeson’s performance as “brilliant in its blend of compassion, weariness, humility and faith” while the Los Angeles Times said that “”Calvary” reveals itself over and over to be a movie of such surprises, a serious-minded, lightly comedic rumination on life, death, faith and community.
Calvary will expand upon its US run next week, when it will open in 8 further markets and play in further theatres in New York and Los Angeles, screening in a total of 35-40 theatres.