Commenting on the film’s immediate success, David Shear, Head of Theatrical at Revolver Entertainment, the film’s distributors, said: “The box office figures are brilliant for the opening weekend – we predict continued demand in the following weeks, and are very pleased that more people will be able to go and see The Infidel with the increased number of cinemas screening the film.”
A 3500 strong audience at The Hammersmith Apollo certainly aided the impressive first weekend sales, which included a glittering array of celebrities who walked the red carpet to celebrate the world premiere of The Infidel.
Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff and other stars of the film greeted media and fans on the red carpet, whilst a gospel choir and break-dancers entertained the crowds.
The Infidel stars Omid Djalili as Muslim family man ‘Mahmud Nasir’ who discovers that he was born a Jew. Tumbling headlong into a full scale identity crisis, Mahmud turns to his drunk and somewhat anarchic cabbie neighbour Lenny Goldberg (Emmy award winner Richard Schiff “The West wing”) for help. The plot gives way for a light-hearted and hilarious performance and brings a unique twist to the age-old question of nature versus nurture.
Celebrities who joined Omid Djalili and David Baddiel on the red carpet included ‘Eastenders’ star Nitin Ganatra, director Gurinder Chadha, the Grewal family, Dizzee Rascal, Jan Uddin and pop star Jaya. The cream of British comedy was also present, with Jo Brand, Frank Skinner, Ruby Wax, David Mitchell, Jack Dee and others attending the event.
The Infidel also features Archie Panjabi (‘Bend it Like Beckham’, ‘East is East’), Ravin Ganatra, Igal Naor (‘Greenzone’, ‘House of Saddam’), an array of comedy-cameos from Matt Lucas, David Schneider, Miranda Hart and Paul Kaye and stars newcomers Amit Shah and Soraya Radford.
Speaking about the film on the red carpet, Djalili said: “My character, Mahmud, is an ordinary bloke, a sort of ‘Muslim Homer Simpson’, who through discovering his true identity realises that Muslims and Jews have a lot more in common than he previously thought.”
Celeb guest Nitin Ganatra, said “I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere and the film and have always been a big fan of Omid Djalili. He is fantastic in The Infidel.”
The premiere, held in association with Comic Relief©, treated the audience to stand up sets from the winners of the film’s ‘Which Religion is Funniest’ competition, an acoustic performance by Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds and a special routine by the star of the film, Omid Djalili.
THE INFIDEL is now in UK cinemas.