London’s ‘best weekend’ for cinema as capital helps drive UK’s record-breaking weekend

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 cinemas to enjoy the busiest weekend for ticket sales in four years.

London was at the heart of the nation’s resurgence of the big screen with grassroots cinemas and multiplexes enjoying unprecedented sales. Curzon reported the busiest weekend in their history with over 200 sold-out screenings in their London venues, and Picturehouse Cinema, with 13 venues in London, also reporting their “best weekend ever.”

It’s the latest boost to the capital after staggering figures earlier this month revealed that more than one million people had attended live music events across the capital in just one 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 is roaring back and this weekend shows the power of the film industry in helping to drive forward our economy. I urge Londoners to continue getting back to the big screen and continue supporting 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, Comscore, said: “London normally accounts for 25 per cent of UK & Ireland box office revenue, contributing almost £150m so far this year. Both Barbie and Oppenheimer were popular here, selling over £8m of tickets. London audiences delivered 29 per cent of Oppenheimer ticket sales, boosted by IMAX screenings.”

Oliver Meek, executive director of the Rio 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.’

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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