London’s “best weekend ever” for Cinema as capital leads the way

Latest 25 Jul 2023

News Story

London’s wide range of cinemas played a key role as UK cinemas celebrated a bumper weekend.

The much-anticipated premieres of Barbie and Oppenheimer saw Londoners flock to enjoy the busiest weekend for ticket sales in four years.

London was at the heart of this resurgence of the big screen with grassroots cinemas and multiplexes enjoying unprecedented sales.

It’s the latest boost to the capital after staggering new figures earlier this month revealed that more than one million people attended live music events across the capital in a week.

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries said: “It’s fantastic to see our cinemas celebrating a record-breaking weekend with crowds flocking to watch Barbie, Oppenheimer, Mission Impossible and a wide range of other great films.

“Our capital continues to roar back and this weekend shows the power of the film industry to play a significant role in driving our economy. I urge Londoners to continue to get back to the big screen and support our fantastic cinemas as we build a better and more prosperous city for all.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London, said: “I passionately believe movies are made for the big screen. I’m delighted that the capital’s vast range of cinemas have welcomed so many movie-goers this weekend for a true celebration of film. Opening this weekend, Barbie, filmed predominantly in the UK, and Oppenheimer, showcasing a wealth of the UK’s finest talent, have given us two key moments to celebrate cinema and the UK’s role in bringing world class story-telling and craftmanship to the silver screen. So it’s gratifying to see that recognition reflected in the London and UK box office experience this weekend.”

Lucy Jones, Executive Director UK & Ireland, Italy, Middle East, Africa, at cinema box office analysts Comscore, said: “London normally accounts for 25% of UK & Ireland box office revenue, contributing almost £150 million so far this year. Both Barbie and Oppenheimer were popular here, selling over £8m of tickets. London audiences delivered 29% of Oppenheimer ticket sales, boosted by IMAX screenings.”

Oliver Meek, Executive Director of theRio Dalston, said: “The Barbenheimer weekend was our most commercially successful weekend ever. We sold over 5000 tickets this weekend, 865 servings of popcorn and 183 Barbie cocktails. We took more money this weekend than we did in the whole of June. We expect to be sold out every night this week with tonight and Wednesday already fully booked.”

Damian Spandley, Director of Programme & Distribution Sales, Curzon Cinemas, said: “‘We're tickled pink with our record-breaking results this weekend, the busiest weekend in our long history. Film fans created an incredible party atmosphere, across over 200 sold-out screenings in our London venues, with many dressing up for the occasion. Barbie led the way with Curzon Soho, our top London site on the film, but Oppenheimer didn't disappoint either, including multiple sold-out shows at the iconic Curzon Mayfair. It's been an exhilarating weekend and a brilliant reminder of the magic of the communal cinema experience. Pre-bookings are strong throughout this week, so we encourage people to book ahead and join the fun.’

Clare Binns, Managing Director, Picturehouse Cinemas, said: “It’s been joyous! Picturehouse’s best weekend ever: a true celebration of film, and an experience only the big screen can deliver.”

Judith Kilvington, CEO Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see our audiences responding so strongly to these two incredible films – and we loved seeing so many visitors really embrace our dress-up theme with some incredibly creative Barbie-inspired outfits!’