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Fear not fans who couldn’t get tickets to Taylor Swift’s stadium tour, the Eras Tour movie is right around the corner. The pop princess surprised her fans (and the world) when she announced she would be releasing the concert film from her 2023 tour in theaters. I’m excited, and already have an outfit ready to go, but I’m not an outlier. Fans are already buying tickets for opening weekend in droves. The movie has already broken records, with presale gross already outperforming Spider-Man: No Way Home. But how much could Swift’s concert film make in total opening weekend?
According to Box Office Pro, the Eras Tour movie is projected to gross between $96 million and $145 million opening weekend, which are historic numbers. Some sites even have cited this as a low projection, with outlets like Deadline having the low end around $100 million. Even if the movie fails to reach the low end of the projected totals, the movie will still be the highest grossing concert movie ever. The opening weekend is tracking more similar to that of a blockbuster superhero movie than a documentary concert film, and competing weekend films like Exorcist: Believer shifted their release date as not to compete with Swift for box office dominance.
Her distribution plan is revolutionary, as she decided to forgo a deal with a major movie studio. Swift and her team decided to independently make a deal with AMC Theaters about releasing the film. She was able to do so because the Grammy winner does not need the marketing power that a big movie studio provides, and the immense amount of success of the Eras Tour has been enough to make the movie a hit before its release. Being an entirely independent production, the film complied with the provisions of the SAG-AFTRA strike, and obtained an interim agreement with the union as not to cross picket lines with the movie.
For context, box office projections for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour are only slightly lower than that of Barbie, and are higher than what was projected for The Little Mermaid this summer. Both of these female-targeted films had massive studio-backed marketing campaigns behind them, and consisted of months and months of promotion leading up to their releases. Swift announced her concert film only a month prior to the movie's release, and has done little marketing for the movie aside from a few social media posts. The strength of the built-in audience, aka Swifties, is so strong that the concert film will likely be one of the highest grossing movies of the year with minimal promotion and a lack of a traditional release schedule.
This high box office projection for Swift's film also could be an indicator of something even bigger happening at the box office. With the immense box office success of Barbie this year and the Eras Tour tracking so high, it may suggest that audiences are gravitating to something new at the movies. Both movies are marketed towards women, specifically young women who are traditionally underrepresented at the box office. Concert and moviegoing trends we saw during Barbie, like dressing in pink and trading friendship bracelets, are also likely to extend to the Eras Tour movie, with theaters preparing for the unique theater experience. Whether it’s an outlier or not, these opening weekend predictions are unheard of for a film of its kind, showing Swift's current cultural dominance.
We will have to wait until the October 13th opening weekend before officially seeing the financial draw of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie. In the meantime, Swifties can check out her previous concert film, Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour, which is currently streaming with a Netflix subscription.