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Saturday 30 August 2014

High hopes for viral hit as 'Stag' is released on US iTunes

John Mulligan

Published 27/04/2014 | 02:30

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Homegrown talent: Irish film The Stag, starring Andrew Scott, was filmed on location in Dublin in 2012

THE makers of Irish comedy The Stag are hoping it will take the US by viral storm after being made available for download on iTunes there this week and having won a number of international distribution deals.

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It's also set to hit a limited number of US cinemas on May 2.

Re-named 'The Bachelor Weekend' for American audiences, the film cost €600,000 to make and was shot in just four weeks. Success in the US market could make it hugely profitable.

The film, in which Amy Huberman plays the bride-to-be, was produced by Robert Walpole and Rebecca O'Flanagan of Treasure Entertainment. The company stumped up €347,000 of the funding for the project, with the Irish Film Board (IFB) providing a €350,000 production loan. It was written by John Butler, who also directed the movie, and Peter McDonald.

The film was shown this week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Immediately afterwards, it was made available to buy for $12.99 on iTunes in the US, or to rent for $6.99.

Already on show in Ireland, the film has grossed €612,000 so far here. An IFB spokeswoman said the figure represented an "impressive" performance for an independent Irish film. Only Hollywood blockbusters tend to break the €1m barrier in Ireland.

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