Monday 21 May 2018

Bridget Jones delivers top movie of 2016 - with €100m spent in cinemas

Scenes from Bridget Jones's Baby
Scenes from Bridget Jones's Baby

Laura Lynott

Bridget Jones and her baby were number one at the Irish box office last year as film fans spent more than €100m on visits to the cinema.

Movie-goers splashed out €108,933,188 in total, which was more than €4m above the previous year's cinema takings.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

'Bridget Jones's Baby' was our top choice, raking in €4.15m at the box office.

Pixar's 'Finding Dory', the second most popular movie of the year, made €3.5m.

But 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' so far hasn't risen above eighth place - earning €2.7m at the Irish box office.

However, the latest in the epic sci-fi franchise was only released on December 16, and is still a popular draw at many cinemas - giving it plenty of time to catch up on 'Bridget Jones', released on September 16.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in a scene from,
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in a scene from, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." (Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm Ltd. via AP)

Likewise Disney's latest animation 'Moana' only rated 26th on the list since its December 2 release.

However, children's films performed strongly in the top 10 in general.

'The Secret Life of Pets' was rated the third biggest movie, making €3.4m, while children's classic 'The Jungle Book' was ranked in fourth, totalling €3.1m at cinemas nationwide.

JK Rowling's latest magical offering, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', made a spellbinding €2.9m since its November 18 release.

Finding Dory. ©2013 DisneyPixar. All Rights Reserved.
Finding Dory. ©2013 DisneyPixar. All Rights Reserved.

Figures from comScore revealed that cinema is a big winner in the Irish economic recovery.

Charlene Lydon, from the Light House Cinema, Market Square, Dublin, said there was also plenty of success for Irish-made film. The Oscar recognition for 'Room' translated to ticket sales, with the Irish-Canadian drama taking in €1.3m in a 20-week run.

"'Room' was an independent Irish film that did really well after its Oscar success," Ms Lydon said.

"It was huge for us."

Baloo and Mowgli in The Jungle Book. ©2106 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Baloo and Mowgli in The Jungle Book. ©2106 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Cork crime comedy 'The Young Offenders' came just behind with €1.2m taken over its 12-week run at the cinema.

Meanwhile, the Golden Globe-nominated musical 'Sing Street' took in €1.05m.

"'Sing Street' was also an indie hit," Ms Lydon said.

"Before it was released, we weren't sure whether it would be for older audiences or younger people.

"But people loved it across the board. It was here for 12 weeks - it played for ages.

"We normally keep films going until they die. 'Sing Street' was a film that kept on going."

Ms Lydon also pointed out that blockbusters that were expected to do well didn't take in quite as much as hoped.

"What people felt would be a blockbuster, like 'Batman V Superman', didn't do as well," she said.

"Then there is the new 'Star Wars' film, 'Rogue One', which is doing well but isn't as big as last year's one."

Ms Lydon said the Light House Cinema was now looking forward to its "crazy time of year" as Oscar season gets under way.

Highlights in the year ahead include Martin Scorsese's 'Silence', fantasy 'A Monster Calls' and musical 'La La Land'.

Success

Meanwhile, Michelle Albericci of Movies @ Dundrum said Bridget Jones's latest adventure was the notable success of the year, with a new generation being introduced to the comic heroine.

"There was a word-of-mouth success with that, with people who hadn't seen the other Bridget Jones movies," she said. "It had another audience.

"It came out at a really great time too. It wasn't competing with 'Star Wars' or other blockbusters."

Ms Albericci acknowledged that cinemas faced competition from online streaming services such as Netflix. But she stressed that movie theatres still offered different experiences.

"If you're meeting your friends to go see a movie, you're going out for food. You're getting popcorn. You're enjoying a new movie together."

Irish Independent

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