Ireland recorded its best month ever at the box office in January 2000 with admissions reaching a staggering 1.9 million, up 23% on January 1999. Admissions in Dublin in January were up 30.5% on the previous year.
The top ten titles during the month were Angela's Ashes, Sleepy Hollow, The World Is Not Enough, The Bone Collector, Agnes Browne, Inspector Gadget, Blue Streak, Stigmata, Ordinary Decent Criminal and Muppets In Space. In addition, several titles, including East Is East and The Sixth Sense, were still performing strongly from previous months.
Racking up almost 2 million admissions is a particularly impressive achievement in a country with a total population of just over 5 million. Besides a spread of strong titles, the growth has also been aided by the recent opening of several major multiplex developments in Ireland, including Ster Century's 14-screen Liffey Valley complex and local operator IMC's 12-screen site in DunLeary. Ireland now has 436 screens on 94 sites with as many as 50 additional screens expected to come on stream over the next two years.
At 3.3 admissions per annum per person, Ireland's rate of cinema-going is well above the European average and is said to be second only to Iceland. By comparison, the French rate is 2.9 admissions per annum per person and the US 5.4. The gross Irish box office for 1999 was IR£63.7m/$80.3m, steadily growing from a total of IR£26m/$32.8m in 1995.