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BBC Worldwide rakes in millions after Sherlock special tops international box office

The BBC’s drive to distribute its content internationally has proven hugely successful this past weekend after the New Year special episode of Sherlock topped box offices in Asia.

‘The Abominable Bride’ dominated the box office in China after it generated £3.6m in cinema ticket sales as more than 1.7 million people turned out to see the feature length episode.

The cinema release, which contained 25 minutes of footage not shown on TV, was shown across 37,593 screens as part of an agreement between BBC Worldwide and Shanghai Media Group to distribute and co-create content.

The episode also proved hugely successful in Korea too where it made £3.4m at the box office, with the BBC saying that it outsold 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' four to one.

BBC Worldwide struck deals to release the special episode of the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman fronted series in cinemas across more than 20 countries, including the US, Mexico, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

Sherlock has become an international success for BBC Worldwide, with hundreds of millions of views watching the show across more than 200 territories. It has proven particularly successful in China where 98 million people watched the third series in 2014.

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