Theatre News

Billy Elliot Live tops UK cinema box office

The live broadcast of the screen-to-stage musical was the highest-grossing cinema release this week

Ruthie Henshall and the cast of Billy Elliot
Ruthie Henshall and the cast of Billy Elliot
© Adam Sorenson

Sunday's live screening of Billy Elliot – The Musical has topped the UK and Ireland cinema box office charts after taking £1.9 million.

Screened at over 550 UK locations – the widest ever cinema release of a live event – it just pipped Denzel Washington's new film The Equalizer.

The previous 'event cinema' record was held by Doctor Who 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, which took £1.8 million last year.

Billy Elliot – The Musical is adapted from the 2000 film of the same name, featuring music by Elton John. The musical is directed by Stephen Daldry and choreographed by Peter Darling.

All three original Billys – James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower – took part in Sunday's finale. Screening venues included the historic Easington Social Welfare Centre, formerly the Easington Colliery Miners' Institute, one of the settings for Billy's story.

Daldry said: "Having the older Billys, all the kids from around the country who had been in the show before, I think it really demonstrates the legacy of the show – of kids having that extraordinary training and extraordinary ability and opportunity to really flourish."

As previously reported, Billy Elliot Live will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from 24 November. Encore screenings are scheduled to take place from 2 to 5 of October 2014 in more than 350 cinemas across the country.

Billy Elliot – The Musical is booking at the Victoria Palace until 19 December 2015.