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Barbie named biggest Irish box office hit of 2023


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The Margot Robbie co-produced Barbie was the biggest box office hit of 2023 here when it generated €9.9m at the Irish box office.

In a buoyant year for Irish cinemas, box office income increased by 10% on 2022 to €101m.

That is according to the 2023 annual report of the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO).

In the heavy weight box office battle between Barbie and Oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy, the figures show that Barbie – which starred Margo Robbie and Ryan Gosling – comfortably came out on top.

Both movies were released at the same weekend last Summer in the biggest movie opening weekend since the pandemic.

While Oppenheimer received countless awards including Oscars for Best Movie and Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Barbie won the box office battle.

Barbie was the comfortable winner with Oppenheimer taking €6.4m at the box office – €3.5m less than Barbie.

Such was the box office dominance of the two movies, the combined box office for the movies made up 16% of the overall €101m Irish box office last year.

The third biggest hit at the box office in 2023 was The Super Mario Bros Movie at €5.168m

The figures show that Wonka was ranked fourth recording €3.99m at the box office and Spider-Man: Across the Spider Verse was ranked 5th generating €3.18m.

In his report, Director at the IFCO, Dr Ciarán Kissane stated that in terms of operational activity, 1,134 theatrical works were classified in 2023 which is almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

Appointed to his role in March 2023, Mr Kissane said that over 75% of the theatrical certificates issued were in the advisory categories which is consistent with previous years.

While feature films at 512 and shorts at 17 were up 4pc on 2019 figures, there was an 8.3pc drop in the number of trailers submitted for classification at 605 and this coincided with the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike.

Following on from the 10pc increase in box office income in 2023, Mr Kissane said that “further growth is expected in 2024”.

The report states that just under 280,000 DVD and Blu-ray units were sold in the Republic of Ireland in 2023, which was down 28% on 2022.

Barbie, Oppenheimer and The Super Mario Bros Movie were the top three highest selling DVDs.

Total income received by the IFCO in 2023 was €802,000, which was down €70,000 on 2022.

The report states that this reflects the decrease in home entertainment and video retail licence renewals.

The report states that in 2023, IFCO received 26 complaints and all were resolved.

The report states that in the majority of cases, people disagreed with the rating awarded or believed that additional information should have been included in the consumer advice.

The complaints related to 13 different films classified in 2023, which is less than 1% of the total number of films classified that year.

The title that received the most complaints at seven was A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan

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