When it comes to film magazines in the UK, there are 2 clear leaders:
Empire: Established June 1989
Total Film: Established later in 1997
Both can be comprehensive for features on the upcoming movie releases, set reports etc. It would at present, appear that Empire is the best seller in the UK, yet I subscribe to Total Film, as they had a giveaway price, looking for more readers maybe?
However this does sum up my opinion on the 2, in that I find little to differentiate from both, in fact I’m happy to read both, so chose one purely on price!
Empire has its fun challenge for stars with their how much is a pint of milk quiz. It also has a movie quote challenge on its spine every month. In addition, it has an analysis of a classic scene and Kim Newman’s Movie Dungeon, which looks at those straight to DVD low budget films.
Total Film has its instant expert section, analysis of a classic scene, fun adapted 60-second screenplay, and its debate, where it will ask questions like is Tron: Legacy actually great, under the heading is it just me?
Both magazines go for a 5-star rating system, but I feel it is here that Total does edge it for me, as it also has a predicted interest graph, where you can get a feel for how the film will flow, if it will drag in places etc
The trouble of course with both, is that a lot of their content can be accessed online and of course due to publication deadlines, reviews can be missing for the forthcoming month and to see them, again you will need to look online!
I personally prefer a hard copy magazine, it’s always useful for a long journey and both appeal to their subscribers, by offering exclusive different covers with just the film image and excluding all the cover text.
Empire all has an informative podcast that you can download and a film award ceremony, which gains it lots of coverage. In addition, its reviewers appear as experts on the BBC Film 2015 show on occasion.
Much like the movies themselves, both seem to want to encourage its readers to download! I would personally like to see the magazines give away a free gift or two, to give the hard copy extra purchase value and reward those who still prefer the physical copy!
In the past Total have given away an Anchorman Sex Panther air freshener but now appears to be just the occasional poster! Personally I would prefer a postcard that I can store in the DVD box, as feel I’m bit old for posters!
Empire, has encouraged purchasing on occasion by offering alternate covers, previously done for X-Men and in a more recent issue Suicide Squad, which I have covered in a previous blog https://barkingmadaboutfilms.com/trainspotting-poster/
Other magazines are of course available, SFX & Starburst for the Sci-Fi fan and Scream for the Horror fan, but when it comes to most popular, Empire and Total seem to have the lead at present.
Which is your favourite film magazine? Do you still read the hard copy or do you just find everything online now? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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