Buena Vista Ireland has set a number of Irish distribution records in 2003 to become the number one Irish distributor for the first time in its ten years in business.

The top slot has been achieved with a combination of strongly performing titles from the Disney and Miramax stables together with several successful Irish-made films which should see Ireland buck the downward box office trend in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

In a statement the company said, "2003 will go down in BVI history not just as a year which saw such a diverse range of films but also as a year when Brendan McCaul and the BVI Ireland team broke its highest number of industry records and personal bests - including becoming the top Irish distributor for the first time."

BVI Ireland's 2003 milestones include:

the largest market share at 30%+ (Jan-Nov), yielding Euros 34m gross box office;

the largest number of films distributed by any one company (37);

the number one film at the Irish box office - Finding Nemo, which has grossed over Euros 4.35m to date;

the biggest ever live action release in the company's 10 year history - Veronica Guerin (Euros 4m+);

the number one foreign language film of the year - City Of God (Euros 325,000);

the highest grossing Irish independently produced film ever in Ireland - Intermission (Euros 2.5m) - which was BVI Ireland's first ever investment at script stage;

five films in the Irish 2003 Top 10 (to date) - Finding Nemo, Veronica Guerin, Bruce Almighty, Pirates Of The Carribean and Intermission.