Cinema spending 2023: And the winner is…‘Barbenheimer!’

5 March 2024

  • 2023 release-day cinema spend was highest when Barbie and Oppenheimer hit theatres, up +146%.
  • Cinema’s biggest daily transaction amount, on average, topped £24 when pre-booked tickets for Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ went on sale, making it the most expensive film event of the year.
  • Super Mario release saw a 60% uplift in daily cinema spend.
  • Not all films made the spending red carpet, with cinema spend falling around a third (-29%*) on the same day ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ was released.

Summer blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer were the biggest winners when it came to cinema spending in 2023, with a +146% increase on the day the films premiered (21st July 2023) compared to the historic daily average, according to the latest Lloyds Bank spending data.

While release days were popular for both Oscar-nominated films, movie fans flocked to the cinema on every day of the week following the release; spending increased by a minimum +136%*, peaking at +171%* just four days after premiere day, the highest for cinemas of any day last year.

The Super Mario Bros Movie - based on the popular video game - was released in April 2023 and also led to a spike in debit card spend in UK cinemas. Although it didn’t make it onto the Oscar-nominee list, cinema-goers spent +60%* more in cinemas on release day compared to the historic average.

Other Oscar-nominee films where spend increased on opening day includes Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (+29%*) and Killers of the Flower Moon (+21%*). But not all films saw a spend increase compared with historic averages - Anatomy of a Fall saw a 29% drop in cinema spend on the day the film hit cinemas.

National Cinema Day (2nd September) drew a modest increase in spending, with Brits splashing out +10%* more as they made the most of discounts available in participating UK cinemas celebrating the big screen experience.


According to the data, cinema spending rocketed +48%* on September 26th when Taylor Swift’s ‘Swiftie’ fan club were able to bag pre-booked tickets to see The Eras Tour in cinemas. Swift’s pricier-than-average movie tickets led to the highest daily average amount for debit card transactions at UK cinemas in 2023, reaching £24.

Gabby Collins, Payments Director, at Lloyds Bank said: “When it comes to the spending awards, Barbie and Oppenheimer steal the show, with our data showing cinema spend sky-rocketed the day ‘Barbenheimer’ hit cinemas. But it’s not just critically-acclaimed films that saw people swap the small screen for the big screen – family-friendly titles like Super Mario and Spider-Man also led to big spending uplifts as people enjoyed some escapism.

“It was Swifties who were digging the deepest, with the average cinema spend reaching a 2023 record of £24 on the day ‘The Eras Tour’ was bookable, although I’m sure fans were willing to shake it off to see the spectacular show.”