Taylor Swift and AMC have collected the receipts and results are in: the Eras Tour concert film is the second-highest domestic opener of October ever.
The film tallied $92.8 million during its first three days in theaters, falling shy of AMC’s expectations, which forecasted a $95 million to $97 million haul, and box office analysts’ calls for a $100 million-plus opening.
Still, Swift’s theatrical debut is an enormous success, given its genre and the limits of its release. The Eras Tour concert film has already shattered records and is likely to break a few more before its run is done.
Box office analysts admitted that their predictions were lofty, but told CNBC that the film was a “unicorn” in the theatrical world. No concert film had ever elicited such fervor so quickly for ticket sales or drummed up so much demand with theater chains. There was also the base price for tickets, which were 40% higher than traditional movie releases. Experts suggested the film could see a bigger bump in overall box office.
But, the film also had some headwinds to contend with. Thursday previews weren’t announced until less than a day before tickets would be made available, and Friday showings didn’t start until 6 p.m. local time. This meant that many audience members had likely already secured tickets to see the film later in the weekend, and the film missed out on the business that early showings Friday could have generated.
So, the Eras Tour film snared just $2.8 million in last-minute Thursday night previews for a total of $37.5 million on its opening day. Meanwhile, the highest October opening, Warner Bros.’ “Joker” from 2019, secured $13.3 million from Thursday previews, feeding a $39.3 million opening day. For the whole weekend, “Joker” scored $96.2 million domestically.
The third-highest October opening was Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” from 2021, which snared $11.6 million from Thursday night previews leading to a $37.4 million opening Friday.
Additionally, while Swift’s film arrived in 3,855 theaters, the most for any concert film, “Joker” opened in nearly 4,400 locations, according to data from Comscore. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” opened in 4,225 locations.
Going forward, comparisons between Swift’s film and other releases will be difficult, since the Eras Tour is doing weekend-only engagements. This also makes predicting the film’s second week drop difficult, as there are no close concert film comparisons and it’s unclear how the lack of mid-week showings could impact foot traffic on the next weekend. Typically, blockbuster-style releases drop between 50% and 70% in their second weekend.
The Eras Tour’s theatrical run is scheduled to end Nov. 5.
AMC reported that the Eras Tour concert film tallied $123.5 million globally, putting it on pace to top the $262.5 million international haul of 2009’s “Michael Jackson’s This Is It.”