Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Concert Film Is Blasting Through Records
Taylor Swift's 'Eras Tour' Concert Film Is Blasting Through Records
And it's causing a shakeup to traditional theatrical distribution expectations in the process.
On the last day of August, the “Anti-Hero” singer made a surprise announcement that The Eras Tour concert film would be heading to theaters in the middle of October. Tickets immediately went on sale at AMC locations across North America, reportedly blowing past the theater chain’s previous record for single-day presales—Spider-Man: No Way Home once held the honor at $16.9 million; Swift’s concert film pulled in a mind-blowing $26 million.
As IndieWirereports, the announcement didn’t just come as a surprise to fans. Film studios, distributors, and other theaters had no idea this was happening, which is not how theatrical distribution generally works. In fact, it’s already caused Blumhouse and Universal to change the already-advertised release date of The Exorcist: Believer, so as to not even try to compete with Swift’s opening weekend.
It’s particularly of note that this shakeup is taking place in the middle of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as screenwriters and actors withhold their services (which, for actors, includes promoting films for struck companies) until the major studios agree to a new contract that addresses serious concerns they have about AI, fair pay, safety, and other issues. This has already led to studios pushing major releases to next year, leaving some worried that theaters still struggling to recover from the lack of business during the pandemic would be in a bad position.
But Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (which was filmed during the strike with approval from SAG-AFTRA) is clearly set to rake in cash for the theaters. Although the initial rollout centered around AMC, other theaters are quickly playing catch up and arranging for the concert footage to be shown on their screens, as well.
If studios thought theater chains would be their allies in putting pressure on the unions to end their strikes due to losing business with fewer new films being released, this might stop that thought process in its tracks.
So for those hoping to catch the concert film in theaters on opening weekend, you may want to get your tickets soon. Many AMC locations are all but sold out already, but they’re adding showtimes as they can, and there’s still the chance to grab tickets as other theaters add it to their lineup.
Now, only one question remains: which theater chain is going to be brave enough to pair screenings of The Eras Tour with a theatrical return of Cats (2019)??
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