The Irish are the biggest film fans in the EU, data released by the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) show. At 3.3 admissions per capita, more than double the EU average of 1.6, Irish people go to the cinema more often than any of our EU counterparts. France is second with 3.1 admissions per capita and the UK is in third place with 2.7 admissions.
Last year saw record cinema admissions with a 6.9 per cent increase on 2014 figures across the EU. Ireland saw an increase of 5.6 per cent with over 15m admissions. Eoin Wrixon, CEO, Wide Eye Media, said Ireland has a strong relationship with cinema as a favourite leisure activity. He said admissions will continue to rise this year as more blockbusters roll out.
UNIC represents cinema exhibitors and their national trade associations across 36 European countries. Wide Eye Media sells cinema advertising on 711 screens in 102 locations throughout Ireland, all of them digital. James Hickey, chief executive, Irish Film Board, congratulated the team behind the Irish films Brooklyn and Room on winning BAFTA awards.
Brooklyn – financed as an Irish-UK-Canadian co-production – was voted best British film. It has taken over US$34 million and counting worldwide and over €10m at the Irish/UK box office. Brie Larson’s role in Room earned her the best actress gong. Lenny Abrahamson’s film has so far taken over €1m at the Irish box office and over $11 million in the US.
Room and Brooklyn are nominated for seven Academy Awards between them on February 28.