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BOX OFFICE Ireland

Cardboard Gangsters is the most popular Irish film of 2017 at the box office

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- The latest report published by Wide Eye Media reveals that the country racked up 15 million cinema admissions last year

Cardboard Gangsters is the most popular Irish film of 2017 at the box office
Cardboard Gangsters by Mark O'Connor

2017 was definitely a stable year in terms of cinemagoing on the Emerald Isle, once again strongly driven by several blockbusters produced overseas. According to the latest figures published by Wide Eye Media, the main cinema advertising company for the Republic of Ireland, total admissions for last year reached 15 million for the second year running.

Family films took the top spots, as six of them appear in the top ten positions, doubling their 2016 figures. The undisputed champ of the 2017 box office was Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast, which generated €5,304,474, including previews. The second and third positions are occupied by Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi (€3,949,588) and Despicable Me 3 (€3,892,637), respectively. Furthermore, the top ten is rounded off by other major international successes, namely Dunkirk [+see also:
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SingPaddington 2 [+see also:
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, The Boss Baby, It, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and The LEGO Batman Movie.

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Overall, family films accounted for 30% of the Irish box-office revenue. This trend is expected to continue and even increase in 2018, as confirmed by Eoin Wrixon, CEO of Wide Eye Media: “The incredible performance of the family genre at the Republic of Ireland box office in 2017 demonstrates once again how essential and personal cinema is to us. 2018 will be an extraordinary year, as there is at least one massive blockbuster scheduled to be released every month. High-profile sequels and the return of beloved family classics are among the most highly anticipated releases as well as some seriously strong women.” Finally, a case worth mentioning is It, the first horror film to enter the Irish top ten since the humorous Scary Movie came in in seventh place back in 2000.

Nonetheless, these figures are certainly a double-edged sword for the local industry, as the roaring success of foreign films is far from being equalled by domestic productions. In this respect, only Mark O'Connor's Cardboard Gangsters [+see also:
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, a crime-drama filmed in the Dublin district of Darndale, starring John Connors and Damien Dempsey, stands out from the crowd. The film, released in June, earned €550,000 at the national box office and will soon be ready for a DVD release. Other well-performing local features include Stephen Burke's drama Maze [+see also:
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, which enjoyed an impressive opening weekend for a domestic film, earning €141,000 without previews, and Gavin Fitzgerald's documentary Conor McGregor: Notorious, which raked in €330,000 in total.

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