Michael Flatley’s Blackbird fails at the Irish box office


Michael Flatley’s journey into the movie world appears to have been a mishap after his directorial debut failed at the box office.

The Lord of the Dance cast himself as secret agent Victor Blackley, a role that sees him kissing women who are half his age, engaging in shootouts and wearing a host of ambitious hats.

Reviews haven’t been kind to Blackbird, with the film sitting at just 22% on trusted review website Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences weren’t thrilled either, with just 33% of people recommending it.

Michael Flatley’s journey into the movie world appears to have been a mishap after his directorial debut failed at the box office. Pic: Distribution of wildcards

While accolades were always unlikely for Blackbird, Flatley’s film studio Dance Lord Productions won’t be happy with its dismal box office receipts.

Since its long-awaited release on September 2, Blackbird has grossed just €140,000 at the box office between the UK and Ireland.

With a $3 million budget, Blackbird appears to be a major flop. Considering Ireland and the UK are where the Riverdance legend’s die-hard fans come from, it could be a while before the 64-year-old returns behind or in front of the camera.

Daniel Craig’s latest Bond outing grossed over $100 million more than Michael Flatley’s Blackbird. Photo: MGM.

Put into the broader context of the film industry and box office numbers, Blackbird’s €140,000 doesn’t make for great reading.

Flatley might have wanted to be the new 007, but ended up earning over $100 million less than James Bond’s last outing No Time To Die.

Daniel’s Craig’s final mission as a spy with a license to kill was the UK and Ireland’s highest-grossing film of 2021, grossing over £112 million in both markets.

Michael Flatley with wife Niamh and son Michael St James at the Irish premiere screening of his film Blackbird at the Light House Cinema, Dublin. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Topping Bond was always going to be a realistically impossible challenge, but when a 13-year-old film in Avatar earns more than you with €252,540 in a two-week limited release, you know you have a problem on your hands.

There may not have been any major blockbusters in the spinoffs of the summer film season, but Blackbird faced stiff competition in Saoirse Ronan’s See How They Run, George Clooney’s Ticket to Paradise and Don ‘t Worry Darling by Harry’s Styles.

Prior to the film’s release, Flatley admitted that he was not hoping for Blackbird’s sequel chances due to time constraints.

‘We never know. Right now, I just don’t have the time. I would love. I would love to do that, but we’ll see, we have a bunch of calls,” he told the Irish Daily Mirror.


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