Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour concert film has hit theaters with an impressive bang, establishing itself as the second-highest domestic opener of October to date. Garnering a remarkable $92.8 million in just three days, it falls slightly short of AMC’s initial expectations of a $95 million to $97 million opening, as well as the ambitious projections of box office analysts who had predicted a $100 million-plus launch. Nevertheless, given the film’s genre and limited release, Swift’s theatrical debut can undoubtedly be celebrated as an astounding triumph. The Eras Tour concert film has already shattered records and is predicted to continue on its path of success, surpassing even more milestones before it concludes its run.
Experts in the industry have labeled the Eras Tour concert film a “unicorn” within the theatrical world, as no previous concert film has ever generated such fervor and rapid ticket sales, while simultaneously creating unprecedented demand among theater chains. Moreover, the film’s tickets were priced 40% higher than those for a regular movie release, leading analysts to expect an even more substantial boost in overall box office earnings. The film’s potential for astounding success is evident.
Despite its exceptional performance, the Eras Tour film faced a few challenges along the way. The late announcement of Thursday previews, leaving less than a day before tickets were made available, hindered the film’s ability to reach the maximum audience. Additionally, Friday showings were scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. local time, which meant that numerous individuals had already secured tickets for later in the weekend, resulting in missed revenue from early Friday screenings. As a result, the film generated just $2.8 million from last-minute Thursday night previews and $37.5 million on its opening day.
In comparison, the highest October opening to date was the 2019 release of Warner Bros.’ “Joker,” which earned $13.3 million from Thursday previews and a total of $39.3 million on its opening day, ultimately accumulating $96.2 million domestically over the entire weekend. Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” from 2021 secured the third-highest October opening with $11.6 million from Thursday night previews, leading to a $37.4 million opening on Friday. Both of these films were shown in a larger number of locations than the Eras Tour film, with “Joker” debuting in almost 4,400 theaters and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” in 4,225 locations, according to data from Comscore. In contrast, the Eras Tour film premiered in 3,855 theaters, which is still the highest number for any concert film.
As the Eras Tour film continues its journey through cinemas, it becomes increasingly difficult to draw direct comparisons to other releases due to the film’s weekend-only showings. The absence of mid-week screenings poses an interesting challenge in predicting the film’s second-week drop and how it will affect foot traffic on the subsequent weekend. Typically, blockbuster-style releases experience a decline between 50% and 70% in their second weekend. However, no comparable concert films exist for accurate assessment. It is equally uncertain how the absence of mid-week showings will impact the film’s overall performance. Regardless, the Eras Tour film’s theatrical run is scheduled to conclude on November 5, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating the remarkable journey that lies ahead.