Thursday 22 February 2018

Star Wars: The Force Awakens set to smash Irish box office records

A new hope: Newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley star in 'The Force Awakens'
A new hope: Newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley star in 'The Force Awakens'

Melanie Finn and Conor Feehan

The force really is strong with this one - the new Star Wars movie has smashed box office records in Ireland.

The Force Awakens, the latest instalment in the Hollywood blockbuster franchise, took a massive €836,845 in one day alone.

Irish Star Wars fans are clamouring to check out the new offering from JJ Abrams, which was partly filmed on Skellig Michael in Co Kerry.

Tickets for the flick went on sale last October and sold more than 200,000 in Ireland and the UK in the first 24 hours alone.

Extra screenings have had to be added in order to cope with demand, with a total of two million booking tickets ahead of the release - another new record for Ireland and the UK.

Speaking about the reaction to the movie, Trish Long of Disney Ireland said they were thrilled.

"We are obviously very encouraged by both the record-breaking pre-sales as well as the opening day box office for the movie in Ireland," she said.

She said Irish cinemas have a lot of "flexibility" in terms of capacity and are increasing the number of shows based on the demand. The new film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, the new film has also met with rave reviews around the world.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Dublin City Council (DCC) is not earning a single cent from Disney after the Spire on O'Connell Street was transformed into a giant lightsaber to promote the film. It will remain lit until January 2.

DCC has confirmed it did not charge Disney for the use of the landmark Spire as a promotional tool for the Christmas blockbuster. This is despite the fact that London authorities received the equivalent of €33,000 for a similar publicity stunt.

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