Cinema spending in Ireland experienced a significant surge of 136% in July compared to the previous month, driven by the release of popular summer blockbusters such as Barbie and Oppenheimer. This sharp increase in demand is in stark contrast to last year, when cinema spending only saw a modest 5% rise between June and July. The latest data from Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse highlights the impact of these blockbuster releases on the Irish box office.
Since its release on July 21, Barbie has already raked in nearly €5.3 million in the Irish box office, while Oppenheimer, also released on the same day, has generated just over €3 million. Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning: Part One, which has been overshadowed by the hype surrounding “Barbenheimer,” has earned just under €2 million. These figures demonstrate the strong performance of these films and their appeal to Irish audiences.
In comparison, spending on tourist attractions only increased by 25% in July, while bookstores experienced an 18% increase and restaurants saw a 12% rise in spending. Indoor activities were particularly popular during the rainy month of July. Spending in aquariums rose by 43%, bowling alleys saw a 42% increase, and arcades experienced a 17% rise in spending. The wettest July on record, with four times more rainfall compared to last year, likely contributed to the increased spending in these areas.
Jilly Clarkin, the head of customer journeys at Bank of Ireland, commented on the impact of the “Barbenheimer” movie phenomenon, stating that it was well-timed for people seeking to escape the damp and dreary conditions. She emphasized the standout figure of a 136% monthly uplift in cinema spending and expressed hope that the onset of August would bring about better weather, as families across the country would welcome a sustained blast of sunshine.
Overall, debit and credit card spending in Ireland rose by 3% in July compared to June. Social spending, which had dipped by 5% in June, rebounded strongly in July with a 16% increase overall. However, spending in florists and pharmacies experienced the largest drops of 7% and 6% respectively.
In terms of international spending, France saw an 18% increase, while Portugal and Spain experienced rises of 14% and 7% respectively. Domestically, Galway and Monaghan saw the highest increases in spending, both rising by 4%. There were also increases in Cavan, Clare, Dublin, and Kerry, with all four regions experiencing a 3% rise in spending. In-person spending accounted for 58% of overall spending in July, with the remaining 42% recorded online.
The surge in cinema spending and the popularity of indoor activities during the rainy month of July indicate the influence of blockbuster releases on consumer behavior. As the summer continues, Irish audiences eagerly anticipate the release of more exciting films and hope for better weather to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.