Cinema spending surged during last month’s school midterm break, from February 13th to 17th, according to a new analysis by Bank of Ireland.
As parents sought to keep children entertained and children persuaded parents to take them to see new release films, spending on cinema trips shot up by 69 per cent compared to the week before, the Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse found.
While Avatar: The Way of Water, released in December 2022, is the box office leader in the Irish cinema market in 2023 to date, the second-placed Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and third-ranked Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania were both released in February.
Overall spending by consumers, in a week that also included St Valentine’s Day, rose by 10 per cent compared to the week before, Bank of Ireland’s analysis of debit and credit card transactions found.
Outlays on swimming pools spiked 30 per cent, while spending in museums and theatres rose 27 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, according to Bank of Ireland. Midterm purchases in sweet shops and fast-food outlets also swelled.
Teenagers spent their money – or that passed along to them by parents and other adult relatives – in a variety of locations, including sports clubs and shopping centres.
“The age-old question faced by parents trying to entertain their children never gets any easier to solve, but according to our latest Spending Pulse it looks like they gave it a good go recently. People flocked to the cinema in their droves, but it wasn’t just a popcorn fest for midterm break as museums and theatres filled up too,” said Jilly Clarkin, head of customer journeys and SME Markets at Bank of Ireland.
“A spending rise in shopping centres and fast-food outlets is to be expected, with teens themselves posting a total spending spike of 51 per cent during their week off, but a 30 per cent hike in swimming pool spend indicates that many children also kept active in their time away from the classroom.”
The bank’s findings point to a bumper Easter holiday period for entertainment and leisure providers in April, notwithstanding the cost-of-living strains affecting many households.