Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. The first issue was published in May 1989.


David Hepworth of Emap, the publisher of British music magazines Q and Smash Hits, among other titles, came up with the idea to publish a magazine similar to Q, but for films. They recruited Smash Hits editor Barry McIlheney to edit the new magazine, with Hepworth as Editorial Director. Hepworth produced a one-page document of what he wanted to achieve. Among them, they planned to review and rate every film that was released in the cinema in the United Kingdom. It also said that "Empire believes that movies can sometimes be art, but they should always be fun." The first edition (June/July 1989) was published in May 1989 with Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder on the front cover from the film Great Balls of Fire!. The first issue reached its target of 50,000 copies sold.

Film reviews were given a star rating between 1 and 5, with no half stars.

McIlheney edited the first 44 issues, with assistant editor Phil Thomas, who had been working on the magazine since it started, taking over from the March 1993 issue. Thomas became managing editor in 1995 with Q Features Editor Andrew Collins taking over as Empire editor from issue 73 (July 1995); however, after 3 issues, he became editor of Q after Danny Kelly left, with Empire's Features Editor Mark Salisbury promoted to Editor.

A compilation of their film reviews was published in 2006 as the Empire Film Guide.

Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008.


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Bauer Media Group
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, trading as Bauer Media Group, is a German multimedia conglomerate headquartered in Hamburg. It operates worldwide and owns more than 600 magazines, over 400 d


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