In November, 2013, BBC Worldwide North America was looking for ways to expand the global 50th Anniversary celebration of Doctor Who beyond television, and the logical extension was to create a worldwide cinema event to complement and grow the television audience.
To entice cinema audiences with an experience beyond what they could achieve on TV, the special episode was shot in 3D and an exclusive introduction and bonus “making of” special were created specifically for the cinema exhibition. The celebration was a tremendous success, including setting a Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama, shown in over 94 countries across six continents. The cinema broadcast was shown in 15 countries, from Russia to Ecuador, with a box office gross of $10.2 million worldwide for the three-day event.
In just over two years since that momentous success, BBC Worldwide North America has now produced nine cinema events with Fathom Events, using the medium to present Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor in Doctor Who; to introduce U.S. audiences to the world’s biggest and longest-running music festival with Last Night of the Proms 2015; to bring the wonder of nature like no other medium can in BBC Earth’s Enchanted Kingdom 3D; to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing with a unique Monty Python-esque comedy about his lost years with Bill; and to welcome the return of international hit series, Sherlock, with a hugely-anticipated one-off special, The Abominable Bride.
BBC Worldwide North America has created a highly profitable new revenue stream by transforming content originally made for TV into nationwide cinema events that bring audiences together to experience not only the BBC’s outstanding original programming but also exclusive Q&As, behind-the-scenes bonus content, and more.