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'The Day of the Doctor' (BBC)

Over the Doctor Who 50th anniversary weekend, it’s fair to say the good Doctor “conquered the world”, in the words of head writer Steven Moffat. And one particular area upon which he hadn’t set his “sand shoes” since the 1960s, but nevertheless effortlessly dominated, was the theatrical box office — as in addition to being simulcast on televisions around the world, “The Day of the Doctor” also played in 3D to enraptured audiences in selected cinemas.

Back home, the theatrical showings were a remarkable success – over the three days from Saturday to Monday, the special took around £1.8m ($2.94m), which was enough to give it third place in the U.K.’s weekend box-office standings: ranked only behind the recently-released Gravity and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Perhaps more surprising, however, were the takings in the U.S., where Monday November 25th turned out to be arguably the true “day of the Doctor”. On that day alone, the special sold 320,000 tickets, for a total gross of around $4.7m. This made it the second-highest-grossing theatrical release of Monday, behind only Catching Fire – and it’s also estimated that with a per-screen average of $7,155, it was actually highest-ranked on that score.

Worldwide – with theaters in Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Iceland all showing the special – the special had grossed $10.2m in total by Monday. “We had no idea that there would be such a demand at the global box office,” said Amanda Hill of BBC Worldwide. “This demonstrates how huge the show remains in the U.K. and how far it’s come internationally over the last few years.”

It was around two years ago that rumors about a full-on Doctor Who began to rear their head once more. “The Day of the Doctor” might “only” have been a TV special, but it demonstrates that the Doctor still has the power to draw audiences to the big screen, nearly fifty years after the successful Peter Cushing Dalek movies. Time for those rumors to start up again, we wonder…?


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By Seb Patrick