'Doctor Who' Anniversary Special Grosses $10.2 Million Globally in Cinemas


UPDATED: Screenings of the 75-minute episode of the BBC cult show in U.S. theaters drew a higher Monday per-screen average than "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," although that film is playing in six times as many theaters.

LONDON – The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of The Doctor, garnered $10.2 million at the box office globally after being beamed onto the big screen over three days starting with its global simulcast on Nov. 23 in the U.S., U.K., Australia and other countries.

According to figures from BBC Worldwide, the show's global distributor, the 75-minute special took $4.7 million at the U.S. box office from roughly 657 theaters.

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It made the BBC sci-fi evergreen's anniversary episode the second-biggest cinema attraction of the day after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, it said. 

Also in the U.S., Doctor Who beat out most of the Monday competition with an estimated $7,155 per-location average, eclipsed only by Frozen ($47,725), which played in an exclusive run at El Capitan theater in Hollywood before its nationwide launch Tuesday night. 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which played in 4,163 U.S. locations, posted a $2,623 per-location average.

In Australia over 70,000 attended Sunday cinema screenings, while in the U.K., indie movie chain Picturehouse, currently in the final throes of being purchased by British exhibition giant Cineworld, took $53,000 (£33,000) for the one-off TV special.

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Overall, the special made over $3 million (£1.8 million) at the U.K. box office in two days.

That makes it the most successful non-movie alternative content piece ever seen at European cinemas, according to research firm IHS Screen Digest.

Screenings across all sites both on the Saturday night and Sunday matinees were sold out, the indie exhibitor said.

The show also landed in cinemas in Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.

The Day of the Doctor became the number one episode on U.S. iTunes and hit the top spot for an episode on U.S Amazon’s television chart within 24 hours of release.

It was also the most downloaded episode of 2013 for BBC Worldwide on iTunes, based on the first day of sale.