Magazine article Screen International

In Any Event

Magazine article Screen International

In Any Event

Article excerpt

There's an elephant in the room, or indeed an elephant-sized opportunity in the cinema: 'event cinema' -- those non-film offerings that were also formerly tagged 'alternative content'.

At this week's Screen Film Summit in London, one hot topic was the success of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day Of The Doctor, which took $2.3m theatrically on a single Saturday night in the UK despite being freely accessible on TV at the same time.

It made more than $10m globally in cinemas. Both an exhibitor, Philip Knatchbull of Curzon Artificial Eye, and a distributor, Zygi Kamasa of Lionsgate UK, were in awe of such figures. Research points to the sector being worth $1bn by 2015.

BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who was one of the first fanboy event cinema launches; usually the audiences (to generalise) are older and wealthier, and coming in for opera and theatre events. Kamasa noted the free-to-air The Day Of The Doctor was a big step forward for event cinema, because the content wasn't exclusive and proved that audience demand exists for experience viewing.

There are other recent success stories -- The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Richard II starring David Tennant made $1.6m during its launch night in the UK on November 13. That's better than the UK opening weekend for something like Disney's awards-season contender Saving Mr Banks or Sony's Carrie remake. The British Museum's Pompeii Live and the V&A's David Bowie cinema releases were also innovative and profitable launches earlier this year. …

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