The Time Lord has conquered the box office.
A special nationwide 3D screening of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary TV special “Day of the Doctor” grossed a stunning $4.8 million at the U.S. box office.
What makes this particularly impressive: That’s from one night. The 75-minute “Day of the Doctor” screened in 660 theaters as a one-night-only special event Monday and averaged $7,155 per location, with 320,000 tickets sold. Granted, the tix were $15 a pop, so that certainly helped.
In fact, the BBC’s cult favorite show was the No. 2 movie in America on Monday, behind only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Its gross is nearly as much as The Wizard of Oz in 3D made during its entire run earlier this year ($5.5 million). And it was more than indie fav Much Ado About Nothing ($4.3 million) or bomb The Fifth Estate ($3.3 million).
And don’t forget: This screening was two days after the episode had already premiered on BBC America, so most fans had already seen it. On limited Saturday screenings, the show racked up $204,000 in the U.S. box office and $2.9 million at the UK box office.
“It’s incredible that Doctor Who has made history once again, setting record numbers across the board on BBC America, in social media, and now in theaters. It’s a testament to the fans and their dedication for Doctor Who,” said Soumya Sriraman, EVP Home Entertainment and Licensing, BBC Worldwide North America.
Doctor Who wasn’t too scruffy in the TV ratings either. A total of 2.4 million viewers watched the special’s first telecast at 2:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, breaking BBC America’s ratings records. That total rose to 3.6 million once including the show’s encore.