June 23, 2024

Taylor Swift‘s “The Eras Tour” concert film officially opened to $92.8 million in North America and $30.7 million internationally, bringing its first weekend tally to a massive $123.5 million globally.

These ticket sales are slightly below Sunday’s estimates of $95 million to $97 million domestically and $126 million to $130 million worldwide, but wildly impressive nonetheless. At the domestic box office, it’s the second-biggest October debut of all time, trailing only 2019’s “Joker” with $96 million.

With minimal promotion and unconventional distribution strategies, “The Eras Tour” easily landed the best start of all time for a concert film, as well as the sixth-biggest opening weekend of the year. It’s a remarkable start for a movie that wasn’t even added to the calendar until six weeks ago.

“This October, without Taylor Swift, would have been awful,” says Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “This is a huge bright spot.”

The movie took an atypical route to theaters because it’s not being distributed by a major studio. Instead, the pop star released the movie with the help of AMC Theatres, the world’s largest cinema chain. Swift, who self-produced the film, gets to take home about 57% of ticket sales, with theaters keeping the remaining revenues and AMC taking a small distribution fee. The film isn’t exclusive to AMC; it’s playing in 3,855 theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada and 4,527 venues internationally.

It’s proving to be very lucrative for all involved parties. During its first weekend in theaters, “The Eras Tour” became the highest-grossing concert film in domestic box office history, surpassing the entire $73 million run of “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” in 2011. By the end of its theatrical run, Swift’s film hopes to contend with the genre’s global record holder, 2009’s “Michael Jackson: This Is It” ($261 million).

“The Eras Tour” has far fewer screenings than the traditional nationwide release. After opening weekend, it’s only screening on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to make sure auditoriums are as full as possible. Although this makes it difficult to predict the film’s box office trajectory, “The Eras Tour” is expected to rank among the top 10 or 15 biggest releases of the year.

A filmed version of her globe-spanning stadium show, “The Eras Tour” runs at 2 hours and 48 minutes and encourages audience members to sing and dance and even take videos of all the fun inside the theater. It’s no surprise the movie has earned an “A+” CinemaScore from ticket buyers, many of whom will be back for repeat viewings.

AMC Theatres’ chief content officer Elizabeth Frank thanked Swift for bringing the movie to the big screen.

“Her spectacular performance delighted fans, who dressed up and danced through the film,” she said in a statement. “With tremendous recommendations and fans buying tickets to see this concert film several times, we anticipate ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ concert film playing to big audiences for weeks to come.”

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