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Monday 18 February 2019

Movie magic makes us Europe's biggest cinema fans

Irish people visit the cinema more than any other nationality in Europe.
Irish people visit the cinema more than any other nationality in Europe.

Irish people visit the cinema more than any other nationality in Europe.

An average of 3.3 cinema visits per capita were made in Ireland in 2018 - more than twice the EU average of 1.6.

Figures obtained by the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) paint a mixed picture for cinema attendances across Europe, with total admissions down on the previous record-breaking year of 2017.

UNIC has attributed the dip in attendances in part to the World Cup and the heatwave during the summer.

However, cinema sales in Ireland bucked the trend, rocketing to an eight-year peak in 2018.

We beat France to top the big screen attendance per capita charts - a feat Ireland has achieved since records began in 1995.

Guillaume Branders, senior industry relations and research manager with UNIC, said Ireland had the "highest screen density" of the countries studied.

Magic

Wide Eye Media chief executive Eoin Wrixon said: "Although we live in an era of multi-screening, streaming and watching on demand, the cinema never loses its power or its magic."

Ireland enjoyed bumper cinema admissions last year, with 2018's €117.3m box office return nearly €4m more than the previous year - and the highest figure since 2010.

Industry watchdogs believe 2019 could turn out to be an even more profitable year.

"With The Lion King, The Hustle, Star Wars: Episode IX, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Long Shot, Avengers: Endgame, Joker, Downton Abbey and Cats all on their way to our screens this year, we could see admissions per capita spike in 2019," Mr Wrixon added.

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