Jim Sheridan's In America's launched in Ireland over the weekend, helping to boost a phenomenal year for home-grown films at the local box office.

Its UK gross, however, was disappointing - suggesting that the film will have to work hard to generate significant international returns.

In America opened for 20th Century Fox in the Republic of Ireland on 43 screens for a gross of Euros 328,219, giving a screen average of Euros 7,633.

This is the second highest opening for a local film this year after BVI's Veronica Guerin which recorded Euros 393,395 from 61 prints in July. Guerin has since gone on to top the Irish chart for the year to date with a cumulative gross of Euros 4,020,924.

However, when it opened in the UK at the beginning of August, Guerin performed disappointingly, grossing just Euros 249,503 from 198 sites for a screen average of Euros 1,260.

Given this precedent, the signs for Sheridan's film in the UK part of the territory are somewhat ominous. Of its total UK and Ireland gross last weekend, 80% came from Ireland while just 20% (Euros 86,849) came from the UK which, at 44 sites, gave a screen average of Euros 1,974 - less than 25% of the screen average for the film in Ireland.

Given its American setting, and strong reviews for the film there, In America will be hoping to breakthrough in the North American market when it opens on the Thanksgiving weekend, a feat which has eluded Veronica Guerin. The Bruckheimer production dropped out of the North America top thirty chart this weekend after two weeks on a 472 print release.

The other national winner and international contender is Company of Wolves' Intermission which opened in Ireland on August 29 at 28 sites for Euros 212,996. Despite having been squeezed off Irish screens in October the film is still running strongly, having clocked up Euros 2,394,255 by last weekend when it was still earning a screen average of Euros 2,384.

Intermission gets its UK release through BVI on November 28 and opens in North America through IFC Films in 2004.

2003 box office figures in Euro (up to Nov 02)

Veronica GuerinBuena Vista.614,020,924
Intermission*Buena Vista412,394,255
EvelynPathen/a 462,215
Song for a Raggy Boy*Abbey36 460,545
In America*20th Century Fox43 328,219
The ActorsEclipse40 246,575
The Magdalene Sisters~ Eclipse31 229,909
The Good ThiefEclipsen/a 206,595
Dead BodiesBuena Vista.29 103,413
Goldfish MemoryEclipse7 74,702

*Still on release
~2003 figure only

Other local films due for release in 2003
Spin the Bottle(BVI) Nov 28
Mystics (Momentum) Dec 12