‘The Eras Tour’ Brings Taylor Swift’s Business Empire to Theaters

Last month, Mackenzie Rao-Lehmann called her local theater in Duluth, Minn., with an unusual but important question: Are there any restrictions on this singing and dancing?

Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem — except on this occasion, she bought tickets for two consecutive nights to see “Taylor Swift: The Era’s Tour,” a movie that chronicles her record-breaking journey, filmed during several sold-out concerts. August at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Swift, In an Instagram post Announcing the film, he said, “Singing and dancing are encouraged”. But Rau-Lehmann, 23, doesn’t want to run afoul of the rules, and there’s already plenty of nervous chatter among Swift fans about whether those standing up to dance will block anyone’s view.

“Because of the nature of the film, they said they couldn’t really put any restrictions on it, but with the dance, they didn’t know how much space there would be technically,” Rao-Lehmann said. The theater worker promised that it would be good to sing along. such as theater chains AMC And Cinemark, have raised similar questions and issued guidelines, including whether it’s possible to bring glitter to the cinema. (“Please avoid,” Cinemark says.)

These are some of the things Swifties are thinking about as they count down the hours until the film’s release on October 13. This is no ordinary concert film, as it includes Swift, who emerged as a seismic cultural force last year: her tour. On pace to become the first person to earn $1 billion in ticket sales, he’s pumped millions of dollars into local economies every time he tours a new city, and he and his fans have created a vibe that’s the equivalent of a little one. The earthquake was from the concert noise, and he gave 3½-hour concerts very emotional. Fans have reported Then he suffered from amnesia.

Now Swift’s empire has arrived on film. Strikes disrupt Hollywood as US box office faces post-summer slump Fall Release Calendar, Swift announced an unusual direct distribution deal with AMC Theaters. “The Era’s Tour” film It quickly broke the company’s record for advance first-day ticket sales ($26 million). And with more than $100 million in worldwide presales, it’s already one of the highest-grossing concert films in box office history, according to AMC.

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The reason? Fans. Rau-Lehmann remembers the show she saw at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in June, but like countless other Swifties, she’s excited to relive it all: “It’s impossible to take it all in. Just one time.”

The ERA’s tour is truly epic as Swift performs songs from nearly 10 studio albums spanning her 17-year career. Swift is so detail-oriented, to put it mildly, that TikTok and Instagram are filled with concert footage, and fans are searching for something they’ve been missing: graphics. Glass bursts on stage Swift stomped her feet during several elaborate backup-dancer outfits during “Delicate” or “Look What You Made Me Do.” Swift has trained her fans to look for clues in her work that have a larger meaning, a work fans take seriously for film.

“I’ve been looked down upon for being a Taylor Swift fan, … and now in 2023, it’s actually bringing people together and contributing to the economy,” said Bec Ducharme, 23, who suspected that liking Swift was a prank on you. “Super girly.” But this summer, with the Eras Tour, Beyoncé’s Revival World Tour and the “Barbie” movie, “it’s nice to see girls being passionate about the things they love without being made fun of,” she said.

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Ducharme has seen millions of views Her TikToks There she provided outfit ideas for duos, trios and groups to wear for the movie. (She and her boyfriend, who live in Texas, (Plan to wear costumes inspired by the “You Belong With Me” music video.) Whether you’re dressing for a specific era or song, costumes have become an essential part of the Eras Tour experience — and viral TikTok fodder. Fans dressed in glitter and heels and elaborate costumes plan to make it down to the cool and dark theater, where the run time approaches three hours.

“I’m not going to go out with fishnets and sparkles,” said Shannon Hyde, 40, who attended one of the Los Angeles shows filmed for the movie and was wondering if she’d be featured in one of the crowd reaction scenes. . (“I’m going to ugly cry or something, but that’s okay.”) This time, though, she’s going to leave the “Boyfriend”-era sequins at home and opt for a Swift cardigan or sweatshirt. . “I’m going with the Taylor theme, but in a more comfortable way.”

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The film also expands the show’s reach to fans who can’t make it to the concerts, and to fans who were unable to afford or purchase tickets during last fall’s notorious Ticketmaster crisis. They nostalgically watched live streams on TikTok and watched concertgoers trade friendship bracelets, a Swift concert tradition, and were thrilled to be a part of the Eras Tour story with the film.

Box office — and a renaissance for concert films

Swift’s innovative deal isn’t just a win for fans. Industry experts consider AMC Theaters a hit for distribution and the fall box office season, otherwise “Barbenheimer” suffered a commercial hangover after its summer peak.

“This is a huge moment not only for AMC, but for the theater industry in general,” said Jeff Bogue. A box office analyst with exhibitor relations.

“It’s unprecedented in terms of enthusiasm for this concert film,” Bogue said, adding: “We haven’t seen anything like this since the Beatles films in the ’60s”.

AMC and its sub-distribution partners have reportedly made deals to show “Eras” in more than 8,500 theaters in about 100 countries.

Adding to the film’s $100 million in global presales, including walk-up sales, Bock projects that the film will gross more than $100 million domestically.

The uniqueness of the ticket prices also adds to the hype: Tickets for adults are $19.89 before tax — including Swift’s album title and the year she was born — and $13.13 for children. (Swift considers 13 her lucky number.)

AMC said in a statement last week that audience demand for the film has been “incredible since the moment it was first announced,” with many fans buying tickets to see the film in big-screen formats. (AMC declined a request for comment.)

2011’s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” grossed about $73 million domestically, not adjusted for inflation. (It grossed $99 million worldwide.) Worldwide, the record holder is 2009’s “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” which grossed more than $260 million — a mark that Swift never reached.

Beyoncé’s concert from her Revival World Tour will be released in theaters in December following Swift’s film — another anti-industry distribution deal struck with AMC without studio involvement.

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Choreographer and director Vincent Patterson, whose many credits include touring and screen projects with Jackson and Madonna, sees the moment as a renaissance of concert films, thanks to the higher price points of cultural phenomenon mega-tours like Swift and Beyoncé.

“A lot of people can’t go to concerts anymore, so I think it’s wonderful that this is happening,” Patterson said. “A lot of people who admire” artists like Swift and Beyoncé “can at least afford tickets to the movies.”

Even some fans who attended these tours couldn’t sit close, he said: “You’re sitting so far back, you’re basically looking at jumbotrons because the artists on stage are so small. I think one of the joys of watching a concert film is you’re in the front row, and that’s a lot. I think that makes a big difference to people.

AMC, North America’s largest movie chain with nearly 8,000 screens as of last year, got a “golden ticket” when Team Swift decided to bypass Hollywood studios and work directly with theater chains as distributors and sub-distributors, Bock said.

Swift’s deal has disrupted traditional studio distribution and said it could prove a game changer for theater chains, which have faced major challenges in the streaming age, especially in changing consumer trends since its inception. Corona virus infection.

“The balance of power has been in favor of the studios for some time, and generally not so much in favor of the theaters,” Bogue said.

Swift’s deal was also announced at a time when studios and streamers are at odds with Hollywood writers and actors. Although the Writers Guild of America strike has ended, most of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists remain on strike and cannot promote a strike. .

Other planned fall releases were also disrupted by “Eras”.

Jason Blum moved the release of “The Exorcist: Believer” from October 13 to October 6 (“Exorcist” denial for some fans dual aspect). On August 31, Blumhouse founder Tweeted: “Look what you made me do.”

“A Friday the 13th, they moved a horror film,” Bogue said. “That’s the power of Taylor Swift.”

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