Irish audiences are flocking to the cinema for escapism as fantasy and superhero films rule the box office but a horror movie, war epic and a homegrown musical also made it into this year’s list of top ten films.
The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, which starred Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, shows classic fairy tales are still a huge hit with audiences in this country.
At the Irish box office, the musical, Sing, was the fourth most watched film of 2017 at the cinema with over €3.5m at the box office.
Irish audiences also proved they are big fans of indie films with Christopher Nolan’s war epic, Dunkirk, coming in third place in the list of the top films from the start of the year up until December 18.
The critically acclaimed Second World War film starring Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles pulled in over €3.7m in ticket receipts.
Ireland still retains its position as the number one cinema-going country in the European Union with France and England in second and third place.
After the recession, admissions have continued to grow for the third year in a row confirming the Irish love affair with cinema.
Cinema remains a traditional outing for Irish parents and their children with six of the top 10 films this year classed as family movies.
Eoin Wrixon, CEO of Wide Eye Media, which compiles the top 10 list each year, said cinema admissions are on the rise.
He said: “2017 has been a fantastic year for movies so far and The Last Jedi will only add to its success but 2018 has some exciting blockbusters lined up.
“The increase in admissions proves that cinema is still as popular as ever and we expect this trend to continue well into the upcoming year.
“This year has been an incredible year for the box office and one of the strongest years for Irish cinema admissions, with total admissions for 2017 on course to surpass 2016.”
The horror movie, It, was among the top 10 films of the year in stark contrast to the string of superhero and animated films which drew the biggest crowds to cinemas around the country.
“It is the first horror movie to make it into the Box Office top 10 in the past five years,” said a spokesperson for Wide Eye Media.
Despicable Me came in second place, while Boss Baby was at No 5 and Paddington 2 was at No 8.
In the superhero realm, Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-man: Homecoming and The Lego Batman movie also made the top 10.
Last year Bridget Jones’s Baby was the biggest movie of the year with more than €4m in ticket sales.