For the third year in a row, the most popular in cinemas in the Republic last year was a story propelled by powerful musical content – Disney’s The Lion King, taking over €6.5 million at the box office. It follows on from Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again in 2018 and Beauty and the Beast the year before, cinema sales house Wide Eye Media reports.
Final admissions figures for December have yet to be tallied but they are expected to be 15 per cent up on the same month in 2018 and one of the biggest Decembers on record. Total admissions for last year are predicted to exceed 15 million for the second year in a row with annual box office revenue up by 0.12 per cent from €117.3m in 2018 to €117.4m in 2019.
The number of films released rose by five per cent from 448 in 2018 to 472 in 2019. Family films accounted for a third of all box office takings, again making it the year’s most popular genre. Action movies and dramas were tied in second place, with 22 per cent of box office receipts each. Musicals generated 18 per cent of earnings and comedies 11 per cent.
The top Irish film was the horror The Hole in the Ground. Avengers: Endgame was the highest earning action movie. Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, was the most popular thriller. Downtown Abbey was the best performing drama. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio was the top comedy/drama.
Instant Drama was the biggest straight comedy and Last Christmas was the favourite romantic comedy. Ad Astra and It: Chapter 2 topped the sci-fi and horror charts respectively. Ireland’s top films of the last decade is an eclectic mix featuring spacemen, cowboys, heroes, villains, those that fall somewhere in between, and the music of Abba.
Eoin Wrixon, CEO, Wide Eye Media, said it was not surprising to see Star Wars at number one over the last 10 years. The Rise of Skywalker climbed to number nine in the top 10 films of 2019, despite releasing less than two weeks before year end. Over forty years later, the franchise remains as popular as when it first landed in Irish cinemas.
ROI TOP FILMS OF 2019
||Walt Disney Studios||€6,542,001|
||Walt Disney Studios||€6,408,459|
||Walt Disney Studios||€5,977,865|
||Walt Disney Studios||€4,751,756|
||Walt Disney Studios||€2,831,922|
||Walt Disney Studios||€2,770,193|
||Walt Disney Studios||€2,610,185|
Source: Wide Eye Media/Rentrak/Comscore 1st Jan. – 31st Dec. 2019 inclusive
ROI TOP FILMS 2010 – 2019
|1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS||2015||Walt Disney Studios||€6,794,638|
|2. THE LION KING||2019||Walt Disney Studios||€6,542,001|
|3. AVENGERS: ENDGAME||2019||Walt Disney Studios||€6,408,459|
|4. JOKER||2019||Warner Bros.||€6,350,724|
|5. AVATAR**||2010||20th Century Fox||€6,214,107|
|7. TOY STORY 4||2019||Walt Disney Studios||€5,977,865|
|8. TOY STORY 3||2010||Walt Disney Studios||€5,723,545|
|9. MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN!||2018||Universal||€5,515,396|
|10. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES||2012||Warner Bros.||€5,500,679|
Source: Wide Eye Media/Rentrak/Comscore
*All box office revenue was generated between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2019 inclusive.
**Avatar figures are those recorded from January 1 2010 onwards and do not include what this film grossed in December 2009
ROI TOP FILMS OF ALL TIME
|3. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS||2015||€6,780,759|
|4. THE LION KING||2019||€6,542,001|
|5. AVENGERS: ENDGAME||2019||€6,408,459|
|7. MAMMA MIA!||2008||€6,310,774|
|8. THE DARK KNIGHT||2008||€6,300,542|
|9. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE||2007||€6,144,885|
Source: Wide Eye Media/Rentrak/Comscore up to and including January 2 2020