The Event Cinema Association (ECA) has announced record-breaking news event cinema in the UK & Ireland as results come in for Universal’s live-stream of Les Misérables: The Staged Concert.
Coinciding with the beloved musical’s 35th anniversary in London’s West End, Cameron Mackintosh produced a sell-out staged concert version at the Gielgud Theatre featuring an all-star cast headed by Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Matt Lucas.
On December 2, cinema audiences experienced a live broadcast of the musical phenomenon for a one night only engagement that broke box office records and sold out in cinemas across the country.
Over 600 cinema sites streamed the live show, with pre-sales for the event were selling out screens within days of going on sale. The Live stream event took £2,281,150 for the one night only event, making it the highest grossing one-night live event performance of all time.
Universal’s previous event cinema engagements in the market include Billy Elliot The Musical Live and Miss Saigon: 25th Anniversary, which respectively brought in over £2m at UK & Ireland box office.
“I have been thrilled with the overwhelming response to the sell-out Les Misérables season at the Gielgud so the news from Universal Pictures that yesterday’s live screening was the most successful ever of its kind in the UK is the cherry on the cake,” stated Cameron Mackintosh. “That this has occurred in the 35th year of Les Misérables run on Shaftesbury Avenue, which continues at the rebuilt Sondheim Theatre, has to be a unique achievement in the history of Musical Theatre. My heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful artists who have appeared in the show everywhere in the world and to the public for their continued embrace of this timeless and ever contemporary musical.”
Talking about the show’s success, Vue Entertainment, Group Event Cinema Manager, Johnny Carr said: “We are delighted to have welcomed so many guests to experience Les Misérables: The Staged Concert. Our screenings enabled a much wider audience to experience this special concert through the power of the big screen and provided an unforgettable night out. Our admissions records for a live event have been broken, feedback from audiences has been incredible, and we look forward to welcoming many more guests to our encore screenings on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December 2019.” Vue is the leading UK’s leading exhibitor for event cinema content, according to the ECA.
2019 is now firmly the biggest year for event cinema in the UK and Ireland, with box office at £47,086,388 as of November 30, according to Comscore data. Nine titles during 2019 have now taken over £1 million. September was the highest month of all time for the sector in the UK & Ireland market, taking over £7 million in the box office, with National Theatre’s Live Fleabag taking over £4 million.
“We have already seen unprecedented levels of success for event cinema at the UK & Ireland box office this year, with total event cinema grosses to the end of November comfortably eclipsing the previous record of £41.3 million set in 2018,” said Comscore’s Luke Williams. “Following the success of Les Misérables, we are now on course to record annual event cinema box office takings of over £50m for the first time in history.”