erik lundegaard

Sunday October 15, 2023

Box Office: Swift Rise

Before this weekend, the biggest domestic opening for a concert film belonged to “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” which grossed $31 mil over three days back in Feb. 2008, on its way to a $65 million haul.

Before this weekend, the biggest domestic haul for a concert film belonged to “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which took in $73 million during the early months of 2011.

Both records were shattered this weekend by Taylor Swift and her Eras Tour film, which has taken in (or is taking in) an estimated $95-$97 million in North America over three days.

And where she stops nobody knows.

Does it help or hurt that the movie didn't have any major studio involvement? She had it distributed via AMC Theaters, which is also obviously an exhibitor. Yesterday, checking which films were out there, I noticed the listings for AMC Pacific Place 11 in downtown Seattle seemed thin. That's because more than half the theaters were showing “The Eras Tour.” If you went to Pac Place, there were 21 viewings of Taylor Swift and 18 viewings of the other six movies playing.

(So why doesn't U.S. v. Paramount (1948) come into play? I believe in that case SCOTUS separated production from exhibition, not distribution. So it's cool.)

In second and fourth place at the domestic box office were some horror retreads: the second weekend of “The Exorcist: Believer,” which added $11 million for a $45 million gross; and the third weekend of “Saw X,” which added $5.7 for a $44 million domestic total. In third place was the third weekend of “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” ($7/$49). 

So another medium conquered by Taylor Swift. Apparently it's a good film, too—100% on Rotten Tomatoes. But that list of big box-office concert films, at least the music portion of it, feels like another film festival in Hell to me. It's the lastest white teen craze (Bieber, Cyrus, One Direction, Katy Perry, Joan Brothers), or the latest Black standup star (Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Kevin Hart), with Micheal Jackson (“This Is It”) in between. I've seen the Michael (Second overall, or third now). Also Madonna's “Truth or Dare” (14th), “U2: Rattle and Hum” (19th), “Shine a Light” (22nd), “Stop Making Sense” (23rd). 

Anyway, Taylor seems like an improvement over Miley or Justin.

Posted at 11:48 AM on Sunday October 15, 2023 in category Movies - Box Office  
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