Netflix and on-demand TV can't keep us away from the big screen
Irish movie fans are returning to the big screen in droves, with box office receipts up ahead of a blockbuster summer.
Despite facing increased competition from the likes of Netflix and on-demand TV, cinema receipts rose to €99m last year, up from €96m.
And the signs are good for cinema takings in 2015, with more than €38m collected at the box office so far this year - and a slew of big name franchises heading to the big screen in the months ahead.
So far in 2015, the biggest box office hit has been 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron', which has taken in more than €2.79m since it was released last month. It is closely followed by the perennial cars flick 'Fast and Furious 7' on €2.72m.
Rounding out the top three is undoubtedly the most hyped film of the year so far, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', which has taken in €2.6m since its release to coincide with Valentine's Day
Rentrak EDI, which collates box office figures from around the world, found that in Ireland the top 20 films of 2014 generated more than €42m with Brendan O'Carroll's comedy juggernaut 'Mrs Brown's Boys, D'Movie' earning €3.8m on home soil.
It was followed by the hit children's film 'The Lego Movie', which took in €3.4m.
A spokesman for Rentrak EDI said it was probably too early to tell if 2015 would see another increase in receipts, but there are many big films yet to come - including sequels to popular franchises.
'Mad Max: Fury Road' is drawing in the crowds but comedies such as 'Ted 2' and 'Minions' will no doubt prove hugely popular.
"The Irish seem to like a comedy," said the spokesman, adding that the first 'Ted' film grossed €4m in Ireland while the last 'Despicable Me' movie earned €3.7m.
Meanwhile, 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation' hits cinemas in July - the 'MI' franchise has taken €7.6m in the Ireland - along with 'Terminator: Genisys' and the Marvel film 'Ant Man'.
And, 22 years after Steven Spielberg's original hit 'Jurassic Park' roared into cinemas, 'Jurassic World' will arrive next month and is tipped to be a smash hit.