This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

 The March issue published 25 commemorative X-Men covers ahead of the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Once fitted together the covers created one panoramic image. Each cover was supported by a staggered 24hr social media campaign featuring director Bryan Singer and cast members, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence.

 A new commercial and editorial partnership was agreed with Sky Movies. The ‘Empire and Sky Movies Present…’ campaign ran across print, iPad and online at for nine months.

 A beefed-up ‘heavyweight’ print offering marked the 300th

content will see the title through any future blips in the film sector. “Some magazines have been overly concerned about the internet and tried to make the magazine more like the internet – which just seems back to front,” he says. “The magazine should be something you wallow in, and keep all month. The other platforms can do fast-breaking stuff.” Bostock says the brand is extremely

fortunate that the cinematic nature of the subject matter it deals with lends itself perfectly to the creation of enhanced content and rich media. “We enjoy a lot of support from the movie studios in its creation,” he adds. This also means that Empire is continually

looking to launch on new platforms and formats. “Our first Android tablet edition kicked-off on Samsung Papergarden in June, which will be followed by Google Play in late 2014. We also have ambitions to join the dots between our website and digital edition with live feeds and feature updates.”

Film Noir

Of course it hasn’t all been five stars at Empire. Like the magazine industry in general and the film industry it reports on, there have been dark moments. The magazine was launched in 1989 in response to the UK multiplex boom (working title: Project Odeon). But there have been subsequent lulls, remembers Dinning: “I remember 2010 was a really difficult period to find good movies to write about. The writers’ strike of 2008 definitely had an impact. We sat around saying, can someone please make a decent movie so we can stick it on the cover? Whereas now it really is just silly season.” The creative trough was reflected in

Empire’s sales. Twice in the middle of the last decade, off the back of adventure films like Lord of The Rings, Empire’s average six-monthly circulation topped 200,000. Since then it has been a steady descent to an average sale of 145,117 in the second half of last year. In comparison, its rival Total

issue, featuring contributions from 32 of the title’s favourite directors.

Film saw print sales virtually halve over the same period, to just over 55,000 (fewer than Empire’s subscriber base of 58,000, which is believed to be Bauer’s biggest). It remains to be seen how the first of the

new trilogy of Star Wars films, again directed by JJ Abrams, will fare; but good or bad it promises to be boom time for the Bauer- owned title. Not since the heady days of the Lord of the Rings trilogy has Empire had so much to be excited about – Batman Vs Superman, the Avengers sequel, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes reunited on the next 007 film, another Spiderman and Star Wars, which will generate no end of hype before its release at the end of next year. The Empire strikes back.

* Mark Dinning is now Editor of Time Out Dubai. He has been replaced as Empire editor-in-chief by Morgan Rees, former editor of Men’s Health.


▼ EDITOR’S CUT  Former editor-in-chief Mark Dinning

Action men: Arnie and Tom collect their lifetime achievement awards at the Empire awards

Each year, the Empire Awards attract some of the biggest names in Hollywood, as they celebrate the best films and filmmakers as voted for by the public. Film fans from the UK and around the world honour blockbusters, indies and British films. This year, to celebrate 25 years of the magazine, two Lifetime awards went to Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Hugh Jackman received the Empire Icon award, and Simon Pegg collected the Empire Hero award.

confessed to The Guardian that he once encouraged a reviewer to give a maximum five stars to the second Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones. “I hold my hands up. We ballsed up,” says Dinning, who was not editor at the time. “I just got swept away. It was fun, colourful, and Yoda had a lightsaber. It was on TV recently so I watched it and thought, what was I thinking?” History has since been rewritten, with the glowing review nowhere to be found on the Empire website, and the film now enjoying a mere three-stars.

 Dinning’s most contentious call was

writing about TV shows, reflecting the fast- growing appeal of hit shows such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and, in the magazine’s first foray into the medium, The Sopranos. “It was armageddon,” says Dinning. “But now we are doing more and more TV. It’s about the quality of film, and the fact that both Skyfall or Game of Thrones can end up on my iPad.

Everything is changing, but in a really positive way. Netflix getting David Fincher (to direct?) for House of Cards was seismic.”

Roll the credits

Past Empire editors (left-to-right): Andrew Collins, Ian Nathan, Emma Cochrane, Barry McIlheney, Mark Dinning, Colin Kennedy, Mark Sailsbury and Phil Thomas.

Magazine World | Issue 86_2014 29

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