Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ dances to No. 1 at the box office, eyeing ‘Joker’ film record

A fan attends the world premiere of the concert film "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Movie theaters turned into concert venues this weekend as Swifties brought their dance moves and friendship bracelets to multiplexes across the country. The unparalleled enthusiasm helped propel “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” to a massive, first place debut between $95 million and $97 million in North America, AMC Theatres said Sunday.

It’s easily the biggest opening for a concert film of all time, and, not accounting for inflation, has made more than the $73 million “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” earned in 2011. In today’s dollars, that would be around $102 million. And if it comes in on the higher end of projections when totals are released Monday, it could be the biggest October opening ever. The one to beat is “Joker,” which launched to $96.2 million in 2019.


A unique experiment in distribution, premium pricing, star power and loose movie theater etiquette—more dancing and shouting than a Star Wars premiere—have made it an undeniable hit. Compiled from Swift’s summer shows at Southern California’s SoFi Stadium, the film opened in 3,855 North American locations starting with “surprise” Thursday evening previews. Those showtimes helped boost its opening day sum to $39 million – the second biggest ever for October, behind “Joker’s” $39.3 million.

Internationally, it’s estimated to have earned somewhere between $31 to $33 million, bringing its global total in the range of $126 million to $130 million.

“This is a phenomenal number,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “To have a blockbuster style opening weekend for a concert film is unprecedented.”

Swift, who produced the film, went around the Hollywood studio system to distribute the film, making a deal directly with AMC, the largest exhibition company in the United States. With her 274 million Instagram followers, Swift hardly needed a traditional marketing campaign to get the word out.

Beyoncé made a similar deal with the exhibitor for ”Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé,” which will open on Dec. 1. The two superstars posed together at the premiere of “The Eras Tour” earlier this week in Los Angeles. It was a needed injection of star power with Hollywood actors over 90 days into a strike.

The film scored well with both critics and audiences, who gave it an A+ CinemaScore, a metric that typically signals a film will continue to do well after its first weekend.

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