Movie Synopsis

Oscar®-nominated “Empire of Light” will be released on digital, Blu-ray and DVD in February

BURBANK, Calif. (January 25, 2023) – From acclaimed filmmaker Sam Mendes (1917, sky fall) comes the move and Academy Award®* nominated realm of light. Set in a fading cinema in an English seaside town in the 1980s, this deeply personal tale of love, friendship and compassion has been described as “an achingly beautiful film – the best Sam Mendes ever made” (Richard Lawson, vanity fair) and features an acclaimed performance by Olivia Colman as a cinema executive coping with mental health issues. The film is out February 7th on digital and February 21st on Blu-ray and DVD, with never-before-seen bonus content starring Sam Mendes and the cast, which uncovers the origins of the story and the director’s love for cinema.

*Best Camera, 2023

movie synopsis

From director/writer Sam Mendes (“1917” and “Skyfall”), Empire of Light is a moving drama about the power of human connection in turbulent times. Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, it follows Hilary (Olivia Colman), a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward), a new employee who longs to escape the provincial town where he faces daily adversities. Both Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and experience the healing power of music, cinema and community.

bonus material*


  • Create realm of light – Go behind the scenes of this personal film starring writer-director Sam Mendes and discover the origins of the story and the director’s love of cinema. See how the perfect location was found to rebuild a classic cinema that left the cast in awe.

*Bonus features vary by product and retailer


Olivia Colman as Hilary

Michael Ward as Stephen

Colin Firth as Mr Ellis

Toby Jones as Norman

Directed by

Sam Mendes

Produced by

Pippa Harris

Sam Mendes

Executive Produced by

Michael Lerman

Julia Pastor

Written by

Sam Mendes

Music of

Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor

Product Specifications

street date

Digital: February 7, 2023

Physical: February 21, 2023

Product SKUs

Digital: UHD, HD, SD

Physical: Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + Digital Code) & DVD

feature runtime

115 minutes


US rated R

**For sexual content, language and brief violence. Bonus material not rated.

aspect ratio

Digital: 2.39:1

Physical: 2.39:1

US audio

Blu-ray: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English AD 2.0 Dolby Digital

DVD: English 5.1 Dolby, English AD 2.0 Dolby

Digital: Dolby Atmos, 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital (some platforms), Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital

US subtitles

Blu-ray: English SDH, Spanish, French

DVD: English SDH, Spanish, French

Digital: English SDH, French, Spanish (some platforms)


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