A $150 million opening for The Eras Tour concert film? Don’t doubt Taylor Swift

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U.S. singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs during her The Eras Tour concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on Aug. 7, 2023.

Michael Tran | Afp | Getty Images

The weekend box office (Taylor’s Version).

Taylor Swift has sold out stadiums worldwide and now she’s packing cinemas, with her sights set on a $100 million opening weekend for her The Eras Tour concert film — and that’s on the conservative side.

Box office analysts predict Swift’s film could generate as much as $150 million during its debut this weekend, a figure that would make it the highest opening of a concert film ever, and also one of the highest openings of 2023.

“Taylor is in a league of her own with this release,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Fervor for the tickets has picked up because a significant portion of Swift’s fanbase was unable to attend the concert in person due to high demand and secondary market price surges. The film is expected to draw those who were unable to attend, as well as spark repeat viewings.

“Given the unique nature of virtually every aspect of the marketing and theatrical release strategy of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour film, speculation is running rampant as to how massive the opening weekend will be,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst a Comscore.

Demand was so high, in fact, that Swift shifted the release date from Friday to Thursday, offering showtimes beginning at 6 p.m. local time.

“Look what you genuinely made me do,” Swift wrote on Instagram on Wednesday as she announced the early access showings in the U.S. and Canada. “We’re also adding additional showtimes Friday and throughout the weekend. All tickets will be available by 10am tomorrow morning. And it’ll be showing starting Friday in 90 countries all over the world.”

Just another record to burn

  • Highest-grossing concert film worldwide: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” — $262.5 million
  • Highest opening weekend for a concert film: Miley Cyrus’ “Best of Both Worlds” — $31.1 million
  • Widest domestic release for a concert film: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” — 3,481 locations

Source: Comscore

Presales for the theatrical concert have generated interest on par with the likes of Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars franchises. Average ticket prices for the film are more than 40% higher than typical releases this year.

Base prices for tickets for standard formats start at $19.89 for adults and $13.13 for kids. The numbers reflect Swift’s birth year and her lucky number, 13. Tickets for premium format screens such as IMAX and Dolby come at a higher cost.

“Taylor is opening her movie like a traditional Hollywood tentpole in close to 4,000 theaters domestically,” Robbins said. “Whether or not Swift’s blockbuster has staying power will be up to her fans and whether or not casual audiences decide to check out the hype.”

Comscore reports the film will open in 3,850 locations, the most of any concert film ever.

$100 million opening weekends in 2023

  • “Barbie” (Warner Bros.) – $162 million
  • “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal) – $146.3 million
  • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony) – $120.6 million
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Disney) – $118.4 million
  • “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (Disney) – $106.1 million

Source: Comscore

AMC Entertainment, which is distributing the film, reported last week that presales for its theaters had already exceeded $100 million for the full run of Swift’s film.

Robbins warned that because the film is only showing on the weekends, instead of full-week play like traditional movies, it could skew box office comparisons after opening weekend. Still, expectations are high that Swift’s theatrical concert will generate revenue throughout its limited engagement. It runs through Nov. 5.

Still, movie theaters are likely to see a big bump in concession sales as cinemas have designed specialty popcorn buckets and boutique cocktails for the film. Additionally, many locations have plans to set up friendship bracelet-making tables and other in-person events to make the occasion bigger and more memorable than just a trip to the movies.

“No matter what, [the film is] already an enormous success and music to the ears of theater owners,” said Robbins.



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