Since Thursday, movie theaters in the United States have been filled with Taylor Swift fans eager not only to see her concert film The Eras Tour, but also to dance, sing and take photos in the aisles. According to distributor AMC Theatres, The Eras Tour is the highest-grossing concert film in history. In its three-day debut, it made $92.8 million in ticket sales just in the United States, and another $30.7 million internationally — a total of $123.5 million. This beats the previous record for a concert film, which was set by Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never in 2011, which grossed $99 million in total. And it is the best opening weekend for a movie of this genre, surpassing This Is It by Michael Jackson, which made $74.25 million in its first weekend worldwide, in 2009.
What’s more, The Eras Tour recorded the second-best October premiere in the history of U.S. movie theaters, just behind the 2019 movie Joker. Indeed, the U.S. ticket sales from Sunday are still being processed, meaning the concert film could have made up to $97 million in the U.S. Movie distributors and cinemas told U.S. media the strong results have provided some respite amid the actors’ strike.
The Pennsylvania-born artist has not only taken her concert tour to movie theaters (she has done more than 50 shows in the U.S. and will complete another 100 worldwide) but also the spirit of the event. The mood at The Eras Tour screenings has been festive, with Swifties standing, dancing, singing, shouting and even taking photographs and recording the screens. Posters were given away at the entrance to the cinemas, and plastic cups and popcorn buckets with Swift’s face also swept sales, selling out in many cases.
Swift has achieved this feat practically on her own. The movie is directed by Sam Wrench, who shortened her show by half a dozen songs, but there have been no other intermediaries. She partnered with AMC for distribution, but did not make any deals with streaming platforms, production companies or publicists. Swift only announced its release a couple of weeks before it hit theaters, and it has had no publicity, other than the support of her legion of fans.
Swift’s concert movie has been seen in some 4,500 movie theaters in 94 countries, topping the box office in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Australia. It is still not available in some countries, such as Brazil (where it will be released on November 3 after Swift performs in the country), Indonesia, Turkey, India and South Korea. As it opens in more countries, global ticket sales are expected to rise. In some countries, such as the United States, AMC has implemented a strategy in which the concert movie can only been seen during the afternoons of Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Taylor Swift, 33, attended the world premiere of The Eras Tour concert film last Wednesday in Los Angeles, where she closed a shopping center and a dozen theaters from its adjacent cinema. The singer took photos with fans and went to each theater to greet the 2,000 people present, whom she had personally chosen to be there. “I’ve always had fun doing this,” she told each crowd. “I can’t believe I get to do music as a career. That’s crazy. I’ve always had so much fun doing it. I’ve never had this much fun in my life as I have had on The Eras Tour.” Her fans appear to agree.
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