Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Smashes Box Office Records on Its Opening Weekend

Taylor Swift at the Box Office: The Eras Tour Headed Toward a Record $100 Million Opening Weekend
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Taylor Swift at the Box Office: The Eras Tour Headed Toward a Record $100 Million Opening Weekend
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Still from the concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

After the concert film grossed a whopping $39 million on Friday, distributor AMC Theaters estimates The Eras Tour to claim a total between $95 and $97 million at the end of its opening weekend. Earlier estimates hovered between $90-$110 million.

According to AMC theaters, The Eras Tour raked in between $95 and $97 million at the domestic box office. The Eras Tour is playing at 3,850 theaters in North America, and an estimated 4.8 million people have watched the film. The official tally on Monday will reveal whether Swift captured the top spot of openings in October. Joker ($96.2 million) currently holds that record.

Box office analysts and Hollywood studios had estimated blockbuster domestic scores for The Eras Tour, and the film did not disappoint. Even though the concert film didn’t reach the $100 million domestic gross projected initially, numbers coming through place The Eras Tour in the top leagues.

Friday’s $39 million opening had officially crowned The Eras Tour as the second-best domestic opening at the October box office. The cinematic concert film was second only to Joker, which grossed $39.4 million on its opening Friday, and ahead of 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, at $37.4 million, as reported by Deadline.

Taylor Twist: The Eras Tour is the top-grossing concert movie ever made and the widest-released concert film ever. Even though The Eras Tour appears to have missed the $100 million bullseye, it’s currently neck-and-neck with Joker.

Swift has buried 2011’s concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which set a domestic record with a lifetime gross of $73 million. It grossed $26 million overseas, claiming a global total of $99 million. Michael Jackson’s posthumous documentary/concert film This Is It grossed $72 million in North America during its run in theaters.

Produced by Taylor Swift alongside mega-circuit AMC theaters, with production costs between $10-20 million, The Eras Tour has definitely delivered. Estimates for Saturday had placed grosses at $32.3 million (17% lower than Friday’s haul, which included $2.8 million raked in from Thursday’s previews).

During the week leading up to the release, Swift’s in-theater concert film had already raked in over $100 million in domestic pre-sales, with another $50 million internationally, according to data from EntTelligence. In terms of sheer opening night sellouts, that was higher than Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

Friday’s moviegoers were 82% female, 63% of ticket buyers were between 18 and 34 years old, and 17% of those who turned up in full force were teenagers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

This primarily female audience gave the movie a rare A+ CinemaScore in exit polls. Only 86 films have received an A+ CinemaScore since the company began in 1986, which include the likes of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Black Panther, 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic, and E.T. The Eras Tour also boasts a 99% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

The film has brought with it a lot of other firsts. The Eras Tour represents the first time in modern history that a theater circuit — instead of a Hollywood studio — has distributed a movie. The Eras Tour has already secured the record for being the most significant start for a film distributed by a movie theater chain, AMC.

Paul Dergarabedian, chief box office analyst, said The Eras Tour weekend performance cannot be overstated. He also noted that Swift’s reputation and the unprecedented nature of the release led to a massive outpouring of interest in the film, which undoubtedly contributed to some overblown expectations of a $100 million plus weekend, adding, “But that should not detract from the enormity of this box office achievement. Given its outlier status and unique path to the multiplex, it is made all the more impressive and unexpected that lands in the wake of the Barbenheimer big screen phenomenon.”

Analysts had earlier called the film a ‘unicorn,’ referring to how its unique position and the backing of an incredibly devoted fanbase made box office score estimations highly challenging. Box office analyst Shawn Robbins has said that the film’s debut is an undeniable tent-pole level success despite the challenges of predicting what it might achieve, adding, “Swift, her fans, and theatrical exhibition should all be celebrating the results.”

AMC predicts a global weekend start around the $150 million mark.

The Eras Tour will ultimately take the spot for the seventh or eighth-best opening of 2023 after the actors’ strike pitched some tough economic weeks at the box office.

According to Deadline, The Eras Tour had secured an interim agreement with SAG-AFTRA, allowing Swift to post on social media and appear at the movie’s world premiere — where she delivered a three-minute speech alongside shoutouts to her band, dancers, and fans.

“I’ve always had fun doing this,” said Swift, adding, “I can’t believe I get to do music as a career. I’ve never had this much fun in my life as I have had on The Eras Tour. It is far and away just the most electric experience of my life.”

The Eras Tour is only playing in theaters Thursday-Sunday for the three weekends following its release. The cinematic concert clocks in at 169 minutes, taking fans on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, covering selected performances of tracks from Swift’s ten albums.