An October to remember – thank you, James!

Substantially offsetting September’s slowdown, together with dispelling myths that Covid was killing cinema, October admissions grew astronomically with the month finishing on a phenomenal 16.4m (+648.9% on 2020).


The Bond-led boom has rendered October 2021 the second-best October on record – second only (by -2.3%) to October 2012 when Skyfall saw its release.

Delivering uplifts on record years 2018 and 2019, alongside a lead (by +6.7%) on October 2015 when SPECTRE was released, the month has become especially noteworthy as the industry emerges out of the pandemic.

As expected, the MAT increased to 52.5m, in turn shrinking the decrease to -29.0%, meanwhile the YTD total rose to 52.7m, which steamed +19.7% ahead of 2020, and tracked -64.5% behind 2019.

With two typically strong months remaining, 2021 should achieve an encouraging uplift on 2020, while also comfortably shrinking the decline on 2019.

In terms of box office, as has been the same almost everywhere, 007 saved the day as the 25th instalment, No Time To Die, tempted back the masses all over the UK.

The epic, quintessentially British franchise sped into #1 place with a colossal £94.6m (23.11.21), making history as the 4th biggest film of all time, surpassing that of Avatar and tracking less than 1% behind its prequel SPECTRE, which it looks to beat this week (see date above).

Marvel Comics’ latest opener was fast-paced action Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which stole #2 place with a weighty £14.8m, in front of critically-acclaimed sci-fi adaptation Dune (#3), starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, which reaped £13.2m into October.

Infamous spooky family The Addams Family 2 returned in #4, alongside comical kids’ animation The Boss Baby 2 (#5) as they swept up the family audience during the half-term rush, amounting £8.9m and £5.0m respectively.

Michael Myers and Laurie Strode returned in the next chapter of petrifying slasher-horror Halloween Kills (#6), earning a further £4.6m, ahead of uplifting animation Ron’s Gone Wrong, which snatched #7 with £3.6m.

Next, another Marvel movie retained a top ten position this month as martial arts superhero blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dropped to a decent #8, while Wes Anderson’s much-talked-about, artistic anthology film The French Dispatch, reached a comfortable #9, scoring £2.4m and £2.1m respectively.

Lastly, J. K. Rowling’s world-famous Harry Potter returned for the 20th anniversary as The Philosopher’s Stone saw in #10 place with £980k.

As the festive season is upon us, so too comes a broad and eclectic roster of not-to-be-missed releases during this busy time of year for cinema.

Predicted to lead the month with an enormous estimate of £30m will be one of Marvel’s classic crusaders (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which together with famous 1950s-musical adaptation West Side Story (est. £25m), will draw in hordes of younger and older audiences respectively.

Keanu Reeves will return in mind-messing sci-fi sequel The Matrix Resurrections (est. £15m), which will have fans flocking back to the big screen.

In addition, December’s slate showcases a variety of genres, reaching a range of audiences; starting with teens and twenty-somethings with action-adventure franchise The King’s Man (est. £10m), starring Gemma Arterton and Colin Firth, staple Christmas romcom Boxing Day, horror reboot Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, and moving American drama Blue Bayou.

A wide assortment of indie titles are likely to appeal to the middle-older audiences, including dark documentary about the last living Nazis Final Account, black-and-white drama, starring Joaquin Pheonix, C’mon C’mon, dark comedy festive flick Silent Night, extraordinary biopic on British artist Louis Wain The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, and, finally, thought-provoking fantasy Nine Days.

Families will also be entertained by well-known giant pooch in cartoon-turned-film Clifford the Big Red Dog (est. £6m).