Taylor Swift is a business mastermind—the star knows exactly what her fans want and how to deliver just that. High demand for Swift’s history-making Eras Tour essentially broke Ticketmaster, making the ticket-buying process a headache for millions of fans who hoped to see the pop star’s three-hour musical journey through her album eras. But those who missed the live tour will get to see a version of it beginning in October, when the concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour hits theaters across the globe. In the lead-up to the film’s release, Swift’s fans have already proven their buying power, breaking advanced global box office records previously held by other musical artists.
Following its opening weekend, an AMC press report says that the film opened domestically with a total gross of $92.8 million, smashing the domestic opening weekend $73 million record that Justin Bieber set in 2011 with his Never Say Never concert film. The movie brought in an additional $30.7 million from the global box office, bringing the total gross to $123.5 million—officially making Swift’s Eras Tour film the biggest global opening weekend for a concert film ever.
EntTelligence estimates that 4.8 million Swifties attended a showing this past weekend and 80% of the audience were women.
Swift self-produced the project and circumvented the traditional Hollywood distribution process by partnering with AMC Theaters rather than a big studio to distribute the movie—a significant feat only possible for an artist of her stature. A superstar like Swift creates entire news cycles that revolve around her extracurricular activities and the condiments she seemingly eats with her chicken tenders.
Here’s everything you need to know about how Swift made her concert film happen—and just how historic it could be at the box office.
How did Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour get made?
According to Variety, Swift initially held meetings with major studios before her tour started to discuss plans to distribute a pro shot of one of her SoFi Stadium shows in Los Angeles. A studio executive who spoke with Variety said they pitched Swift’s camp but stopped hearing from the pop star’s team this summer. At the end of August, Swift announced that the concert movie would be released in mid-October.
Swift partnered directly with AMC Theaters to distribute the film, Variety reported, though the theater does not have exclusive rights to the distribution. The movie will also be released in Cinemark and Regal theaters in over eight thousand movie theaters around the world. Swift put her own money into the movie, according to The New York Times, which reports it “cost Ms. Swift roughly $15 million to make.
Swift is expected to “collect an additional $60 million overseas — at a minimum — over the weekend,” according to the Times.
The deal between Swift and AMC Theaters is lucrative for both parties as they cut out the studio middlemen. According to Variety, “Swift’s camp will receive roughly 57% of ticket sales, with theaters keeping the remaining revenues and AMC taking a small distribution fee (much less than what studios would have charged). As for exhibitors, many feel it’s a generous deal, noting that Marvel movies receive roughly 65% of box office profits.”
How much is The Eras Tour movie expected to earn?
Fans were quick to snag tickets to showings following Swift’s announcement. The Eras Tour concert film has already collected $100 million in advance ticket sales, setting a precedent for what’s to come opening weekend. In an early September press release, AMC Theaters announced Swift broke the record for single-day advance sales, earning $26 million in tickets sold. The previous record was held by Spider-Man: No Way Home, which sold $16.9 million in a single day. According to The New York Times, the concert film is on track to make around $125 million opening weekend in the United States alone. Swift is expected to “collect an additional $60 million overseas — at a minimum — over the weekend.”
While the fervor of the Swifties will carry the movie to unprecedented heights, the pop star did receive an interim agreement from SAG-AFTRA, which is still on strike, to promote the film. Swift is a member of the SAG-AFTRA union and was granted the agreement because it was produced in compliance with the union’s strike rules.
How do the early projection numbers for The Eras Tour movie compare to other concert films?
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film is already on track to become a global phenomenon. Her advance ticket sales have outgrossed Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never film, which brought in $99 million. This makes it the second highest-grossing concert film ever even before opening, just behind Michael Jackson’s This is It, which grossed over $380 million (adjusted for inflation). At the premiere on Wednesday, Swift announced that the film would be opening a day early in North America due to the demand, which will only increase the size of the opening weekend haul. The film be playing in theaters for at least four weeks, and there’s no telling just how long the film will continue to play given the Swifties’ hunger for any Swift content.
Where might this movie fall in this year’s box office rankings?
After a pandemic-induced decline, audiences are returning to the movies in droves, especially when some movies as advertised as a mass cultural event not to be missed. Last year saw mega-hits like the Tom Cruise-led Top Gun: Maverick and James Cameron’s return to Pandora with the Avatar sequel, the former grossing over $1.5 billion worldwide and the latter becoming the third highest grossing movie of all-time with a global worldwide haul of $2.3 billion.
This year has seen a few releases find major success at the box office, including the cultural phenomenon Barbie—which currently claims the title of the highest-grossing movie of 2023, raking in over $1.4 billion globally. The No. 2 spot is owned by The Super Mario Bros. Movie, with a worldwide gross totaling over $1.3 billion. Those are high targets to compete with, but based on current projections, the Eras Tour should rank around no. 20 in the 2023 global box office after opening weekend alone—and it's sure to climb higher from there.
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Write to Moises Mendez II at email@example.com