Irish people spent €47.5 million on tickets to the cinema last year, as James Bond movie No Time to Die became the most successful instalment of the franchise on Irish shores and the biggest film of the year, according to cinema sales group Wide Eye Media.
The total cinema box office figure for 2021 was up from €29.5 million in 2020, and compared with £14.8 million (€17.3 million) in Northern Ireland.
However, the figure was down significantly on 2019, which recorded a total box office revenue of €117.4 million. The year was described by Wide Eye Media as “spectacular”, and January and February 2020 followed suit with growth figures month on month.
That being said, the group said the 2021 figures were “noteworthy” when cinemas were closed for one half of the year and endured capacity restrictions during the other half.
No Time To Die, which was Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as James Bond, topped the charts in the Republic with a box office figure of €6,012,690 on top of an additional £1,643,896 in Northern Ireland.
“This achievement at a time of social distancing protocols and capacity restrictions in cinemas is extraordinary,” said Wide Eye Media.
Spider-Man No Way Home was the second most popular movie of the year despite launching only two weeks before year-end on December 15th. It managed to hit a box office figure of €4.66 million.
Wide Eye Media chief executive Eoin Wrixon said: “The reconnection with cinemas has been an extremely positive experience during these Covid times, and this success will be built upon further in 2022.
“Cinema exhibitors are investing in new locations and many new multiplexes will open during 2022 from Belfast to Tallaght and Bray, Ballinasloe to Nenagh and Mullingar.
“People do love the sense of escape that the entire cinema experience provides and there is a clear hunger for the high-quality films making up the slates of 2021 and 2022.”