Magazine article Screen International

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' to Open Wider Than 'The Force Awakens' in the UK

Magazine article Screen International

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' to Open Wider Than 'The Force Awakens' in the UK

Article excerpt

Sequel could open with 20% more showings.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which begins its roll-out today, is set to open on more screens and with significantly more showings in the UK than its predecessor The Force Awakens.

The Force Awakens

UK theatrical advertising bookers Digital Cinema Media (DCM) and Pearl & Dean, who between them oversee 100% of the UK’s cinema real estate, have confirmed to Screen that they are seeing a significant increase in the number of showings of The Last Jedi on its opening weekend in comparison with The Force Awakens in 2015.

Tom Linay, head of film at DCM, said that in comparison with its predecessor, there was a 21% increase in showings of the film on its estate.

While Disney is yet to confirm how many sites The Last Jedi will open in [the recent UK site opening record of 680 is held by Force Awakens and The BFG], it seems that this time around, cinemas are giving Star Wars the widest possible berth.

Mike Hope Milne, the acting CEO of Pearl & Dean, didn’t disclose exact figures but said that his company had also seen “a big uplift compared to The Force Awakens” in terms of showings.

He added that his expectation is that it will “kick off with a bigger bang” than The Force Awakens, and that it “should be a bigger opening weekend”.

Linay said he didn’t expect The Last Jedi to match the opening of The Force Awakens, but that it looked set to be the second biggest four-day opening of all time. …

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