Swifty’s burnout is imminent. Swifty is now a household name. Not only is she in the spotlight because of her global tour, but also for her Capital One ads, her relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce, and her appearances at Kansas City Chiefs football games. This weekend, Kelce mocked the excessive coverage of the couple’s relationship on Saturday Night Live.
Swift appeared in another skit on the same show.
This coincides with the release of her concert film “Eras Tour”, a highly anticipated release, which had her fans beyond thrilled and theater owners relieved that they finally had some good business following a dismal Fall viewing season up to this point. The film was expected to be a hit, but the speculation in the last few weeks ranged from $80 million to $100 million and even up to $125 million. Or higher. How did it perform?
The film opened in 3,855 theatres and grossed an estimated $96,000,000 (a more accurate final count will be available in the next few days), adding another $32,000,000 in overseas markets. This is still a huge haul, even though it falls short of some estimates and barely misses the eyed 100 mark. Swift’s unconventional approach to film releases was key in reaching this result.
AMC Theaters Distribution, a major exhibitor chain in the United States, distributed this film. This decision allowed the film to be rushed into theaters. This concept was only conceived this summer. Had she chosen the traditional studio route, her film would be at the mercy of a set release schedule. AMC managed to launch this film in less than two months.
Swift also benefited from a tiered pricing strategy, as she raised the prices of the tickets above the market rate. The adult price was $20 and the kids’ rate was discounted by about 35 percent. (Technically, it would have been $19.98 for Swift’s birth year and $13.13 to represent her favorite number.) The film cost no more than 20 million dollars, and the promotion was estimated at just $10 million.
This is a milestone in terms of making history. It sets new benchmarks for a variety of categories. It is now the biggest opening for a concert movie, surpassing Michael Jackson’s film “This Is It” which earned $75 million worldwide in its first week. The “Eras Tour”, which debuted in October, is now the second-best debut in history. It’s just behind “Joker”, which raked in $96.2 million dollars in 2019. Jackson’s movie will be the benchmark because it was a huge international hit and had a worldwide gross of $260 million.
The theater owners were in need of this boost since ticket sales have been disappointing over the last few months. Since mid-August the top 10 films have only made over $100 million in total one time. That was Labor Day Weekend when they tallied four days of receipts. Currently, the theaters are crowded with Halloween-themed releases or new versions of previously seen films, including “The Exorcist”, “Expendables 4”, “The Nun 2”, “Saw 10”, “The Haunted Mansion”, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” and “The Creator”.
Swift’s film will still be released in several territories over the next few weeks, so there is plenty of time to calculate the total. This concert film will be the real focus of attention for the next month. The presales of Swift’s Songfest show that concert films are usually a hot event for a week, with a strong drop in the following weeks.
Pre-sales accounted for about 80 percent of the $96 million. Swifties were out in force for the first weekend. It remains to be seen how long this heat will last. In the coming weeks, we will no doubt see more coverage about her NFL romance as well as other unimportant news.