Taylor Swift’s latest cinematic venture, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” stormed the box office, clinching the top spot with an estimated $95 to $97 million in domestic ticket sales over the weekend, as reported by AMC (AMC).
Industry experts had anticipated slightly lower figures, projecting just above $93 million, which still marks the second-best domestic opening weekend for October, following 2019’s “Joker.”
The concert film’s global appeal was further highlighted by an impressive $31 to $33 million earned overseas, according to the theater chain, establishing an unprecedented milestone as the most successful debut of any concert film in history.
Not to be outdone, Imax (IMAX) enjoyed a remarkable windfall, raking in $13 million worldwide, setting a new record for a musical artist’s film release — whether concert or documentary.
Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, lauded this unique approach to moviegoing, expressing optimism for its potential expansion in the future. “It’s really kind of an outside-the-box approach to moviegoing right now and something that I think we could see more of going forward,” Robbins stated.
Despite this triumphant performance, both AMC and Cinemark (CNK) experienced a slight dip in their shares during Monday afternoon trading, with a 1.5% and 3% decrease respectively. Conversely, Imax shares held steady.
This release is pivotal for the industry, arriving in the wake of a nearly five-month-long writers’ strike that wrought havoc on release schedules. Notably, Warner Bros.’ (WBD) highly anticipated “Dune” sequel was pushed to March 2024 from its original November 2023 release date.
The strike also prompted other studios to reshuffle their programming slates, with prominent Hollywood actors standing in solidarity on picket lines. The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) accused the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) of “bullying tactics” after negotiations collapsed over viewership bonuses and AI-related regulations.
Representing major studios including Warner Bros. (WBD), Disney (DIS), Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Paramount (PARA), and Sony (SONY), the AMPTP plays a pivotal role in industry negotiations.
Shawn Robbins emphasized the significance of this weekend for theater owners, particularly in light of recent disruptions due to strikes. “Here we are talking about an almost $100 million opening weekend that was basically created out of thin air. This is not something that was on the industry’s radar just as recently as the end of summer.”
“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” now stands as the third-highest grossing opening weekend of the year, trailing behind Mattel (MAT) and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” and Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Notably, it outperformed Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” which garnered just over $82 million in its July debut.
Robbins anticipates that the film’s success will propel the industry toward its ambitious $9 billion domestic box office target by year-end. As of now, the box office has accumulated over $7 billion in sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
This achievement by Taylor Swift may well usher in a new trend, as Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour film is slated to debut in theaters this December. This development suggests a potential surge of concert films gracing the silver screen.
“The analyst concluded, “Taylor has certainly shown what’s possible with a concert film when given a true wide release in close to 4,000 theaters, but she’s also a hard act to follow. We saw a wave of similar films hit cinemas a little over one decade ago. There’s no question that they can provide exhibitors with a great source of alternative revenue during slower periods on the Hollywood release calendar.”
Source: Yahoo Finance