Her politics weren't too popular here, but Thatcher movie is a hit with Irish film fans
SHE was once a hate figure for many Irish people -- but 22 years after she was kicked out of office, Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher is proving a big draw at the box office here.
The Iron Lady, a biopic starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, is set to become one of the most successful political films of the year according to Irish box office figures.
The film made €207,980 throughout Ireland (including Northern Ireland) -- a figure which distributors say is a huge cash-in for a political film about a very divisive figure.
It was the highest grossing new release at the Irish box office last weekend, reaching number five at the box office.
"It's a very positive result and bodes very well for a long life in cinemas here," said a spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox.
"For a serious film, this weekend bodes very well. The expectation would have been that it's a very English title and with the politics it would be for a specific audience but it's a good sign so far."
Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd and Meryl Streep team up again to portray one of the the most dominant and divisive political figures in Britain throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
The actress has won widespread praise for her portrayal and there is talk of an Oscar nomination.
The film spans 40 years of Mrs Thatcher's career and shows her rise to the top -- portraying her no-nonsense style of leadership which split opinion during her 11 years as prime minister.
Anticipation about the film has been growing for months after producers hired Streep -- who has been nominated for an Oscar a record 16 times -- to play the lead role.
In Britain some cinemas were forced to put out alerts over the internet warning that all weekend shows had sold out after large queues began to appear outside box offices.
Streep has described the film as an exploration into Mrs Thatcher's dementia through the latter stages of her life.
She said: "It's an attempt to look at her as a human being at the end of her life and to imagine what it felt like.
"I've had experience with dementia in my own family. I don't think it is a shameful thing to depict it.
"I think it is part of nature, it is part of what happens. I would hope that if she did see it that she would understand what we were after."