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411 Box Office Report: Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Destroys The Competition

October 15, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Image Credit: AMC Theatres

Taylor Swift was the box office champion and then some this weekend, as The Eras Tour wiped away the competition. The film took the #1 spot with a $96 million take, marking the best opening of all time for a concert film by magnitudes. The previous record holder for best concert film opening was 2008’s Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour which drew $31.1 million back in 2008. It is also already the top domestic-grossing concert film of all time, topping the 2011 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’s $73 million.

The Eras Tour’s opening is on the low end of expectations, though it must be said that predictions were always going to be off here because of the number of uncharted waters the film was travelling in. Not only was the film moving at a level not previously seen before in concert movies, it also marked AMC Theaters’ first foray into a major release. Swift went into business with AMC to release the film directly without a studio involved and relied on her massive fanbase to drive excitement and pre-sales. The pre-sales went over $100 million, but that turned out to be worldwide and not just domestically. Adding in the premium ticket price ($19.89 for adults, $13.13 for kids and seniors) and you had a film that was never going to have much walkup business.

All that said, there’s no disappointment here. This is a massive success for AMC and Swift both. The film reportedly cost $10 million to $20 million to produce, and marketing was pretty much non-existent because they didn’t have to. What’s more, Swift is taking home bank from this; she is reportedly getting 57% of the gross, with AMC collecting a nominal fee and the theaters getting the rest. The film is only playing on Thursdays and the weekends, which adds to its event feel and will mean that the weekend-to-weekend drops will probably be lower than we might expect.

The Eras Tour has also added $32 million overseas for a $128 million worldwide total for its opening weekend. It is extremely hard to predict where this film will end up, though domestically it seems very likely for at least $150 million. There’s a very good reason that Beyonce has announced her own concert film through AMC for December, and The Eras Tour might just be kicking off a new trend that way.

The Exorcist: Believer was no match for the power of the Swifties, though it held on better than expected for its second weekend. The David Gordon Green-directed legacy sequel brought in $11 million, down 58% from its opening weekend gross. There was an expectation that it might drop further due to The Eras Tour dominating screens combined with the negative reaction to the film, but its hold is on par with the sophomore drops of similar legacy sequels including Saw X (57%) and 2022’s Scream (59%). It is also on par with Green’s 2018 Halloween (59%) and far better than the holds for Halloween Kills (71%) and Halloween Ends (80%), though the latter two were also day-and-date releases on Peacock.

As we mentioned last week, the financial math around Exorcist: Believer is messy because Universal paid $400 million for the rights to make the new trilogy, and that is a cost entirely separate from the film’s production and marketing costs. But as it stands, Believer isn’t in awful shape by any measure. It has grossed $44.9 million domestically and $85 million worldwide. It cost $30 million to produce and doesn’t have to take on that $400 million cost by itself, as two more films are on the way. It’s nearly impossible to guess how Universal and Blumhouse will consider profit margin here. Believer is on its way to a likely $70 million domestic take and will probably not be considered a failure, particularly if the following films hold up well.

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie was down 38% in its third weekend to $7 million. That’s a solid hold for the animated flick, which now has $49.9 million domestically and $126.4 million worldwide. This one is a hit against its $30 million production budget and should be able to surpass $65 million domestically.

Saw X had a very strong hold in its third weekend, off just 27% to $5.7 million. The good word of mouth is holding out well for the sequel, which has grossed $41.4 million domestically and $71.3 million worldwide against a budget of $13 million. The film is looking like it will land around $55 million domestically, on par with the first Saw and a hit for Lionsgate.

The Creator was down 31% in its third weekend to gross $4.3 million. The sci-fi film is trying to struggle its way to profit, which doesn’t seem likely though although 20th Century Studios will be happy with whatever they can recoup of their $80 million budget plus marketing at this point. The Creator has totaled $32.4 million domestically and $79.1 million worldwide and will probably close out around $42 million stateside.

A Haunting In Venice was down 24% in its fifth weekend, continuing to show that this franchise’s strength is in its box office legs. The Kenneth Branagh-directed mystery brought in $2.1 million, pulling its totals to $39 domestically and $106.1 million worldwide. It still has plenty to go if it wants profit against its $60 million budget plus marketing though and is looking at around a final mark of $45 million domestically.

Fathom Events’ The Blind was down 37% in its third frame for $2 million. The Phil Robertson biopic is now at $14 million, a strong number for the low-profile release. There’s no word on its budget.

The Nun II was down 38% in its fifth weekend to $1.6 million, bringing its totals to $83.7 million domestically and $257.2 million worldwide against a $38.5 million budget. Obviously this is a big hit for Warner Bros., and should end its US run at around $87 million.

The Equalizer 3 was down 47% in its seventh weekend to $960,000. The action thriller is at $90.6 million domestically and $176.7 million worldwide, profitable against a $70 million budget. It should end with around $93 million.

Dumb Money was off 57% in its third weekend of wide release, down to $920,000. The dramedy is up to $12.6 million in the US and $14.7 million worldwide against a $30 million budget, finishing out at a loss. It should end its domestic run around $16 million.

Next weekend we’ll see the arrival of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. While the critically buzzed film isn’t likely to knock Taylor Swift off her perch, it should target about $35 million to $40 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour – $96 million ($96 million total, $128 million WW)
2. The Exorcist: Believer – $11 million ($44.9 million total, $85 million WW)
3. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie – $7 million ($49.9 million total, $126.4 million WW)
4. Saw X – $5.7 million ($41.4 million total, $71.3 million WW)
5. The Creator – $4.3 million ($32.4 million total, $79.1 million WW)
6. A Haunting In Venice – $2.1 million ($39 million total, $106.1 million WW)
7. The Blind – $2 million ($14 million total, $14 million WW)
8. The Nun II – $1.6 million ($83.7 million total, $257.2 million WW)
9. The Equalizer 3 – $960,000 ($90.6 million total, $176.7 million WW)
10. Dumb Money – $920,000 ($12.6 million total, $14.7 million WW)