Get the popcorn out - we're Europe's biggest cinema fans, by far
Irish people are Europe's keenest cinema-goers, with big screen attendances double the EU average, box office figures show.
The average Irish person made 3.4 cinema visits in 2017, as box office takings soared to their highest level in eight years.
The latest figures, obtained by leading cinema advertising specialists Wide Eye Media, confirmed that attendances per head by Irish movie-goers are now twice the EU average of 1.7.
Ireland's upward film-going trend saw it nudge ahead of cinema-obsessed France, where the average number of visits was 3.3.
It reflects that 2017 was a bumper year for the Irish cinema industry in terms of box office receipts.
Takings for the year topped €113m - the highest figure since 2010.
Further analysis by the company revealed that Irish cinema-goers are big spenders - splashing out an average of €16.81 to enhance their big screen experience on top of their cinema tickets.
The Film Audience Measurement and Evaluation research unveiled yesterday followed a survey of 1,700 Irish movie-goers.
It found that seven out of 10 respondents still prefer to watch a movie on the big screen than anywhere else.
Almost one in two (45pc) of cinema-goers head out to the movies at least once a month, according to the findings.
Eoin Wrixon, chief executive of Wide Eye Media, said the research confirmed that despite the availability of online streaming services, the Irish love affair with the cinema showed no sign of waning.
"Although we are devoted to devices, bigger is better when it comes to our screens," he said.
"As our world becomes more and more digital, there is a trend - especially among those with children - towards placing value on experiences rather than material things. The cinema experience is universally cherished. Everyone remembers their first trip to the movies."
Meanwhile, industry experts have predicted that cinema attendances are likely to rise in the summer months because of a string of coming blockbusters.
Some of the pictures due in the coming weeks include Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: A Fallen Kingdom, Ocean's 8, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mission Impossible - Fallout.