The folks behind Sherlock this weekend set a January 1 premiere date for the U.S. and UK broadcasts of the upcoming Victorian-era special, the first time the series will debut on the same day in both territories. A theatrical component also had been discussed with plans for movie houses around the world — even in China — to show the 90-minute episode Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. The first of those event cinema dates now has been set for January 5-6 in the U.S.
The plan is to screen in more than 500 cinemas nationwide with cities to be confirmed closer to tickets going on sale November 6. There will be one showing on each of the days via Fathom Events, BBC Worldwide North America’s partner for the screenings. Theater audiences will see 20 minutes of exclusive additional footage, which will include a making-of short starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Plans for further rollout are yet to be firmed while a China release requires regulatory approval.
Although Sherlock will be available in U.S. homes on television on January 1, the holiday (and hangovers?) conceivably could cut into viewership, making the event-cinema route an extra bonus. It also comes five days before Masterpiece’s encore screening January 10. Marvels co-writer Steven Moffat, “Sherlock on the big screen. For us, it’s a giant leap backwards — into Victorian London. The mean streets of 1895 have never looked so good.”
Under different circumstances, more than 225,000 viewers recently paid about $20 each to attend NT Live screenings of Cumberbatch’s West End run as Hamlet in movie theaters around the world.