EXCLUSIVE: There’s a reason why her last name is Swift.
The 12x Grammy award winner, the day after the world premiere of her AMC-distributed concert movie, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, found her way back to Kansas City for the Chiefs’ NFL game vs. the Denver Broncos.
Why? Because her movie is opening tonight, dummy.
NFL captured her on Twitter cheering her reported b.f. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, which at the time of this report has clocked 2.9 million views on Twitter. All of this comes on the night that Eras Tour begins previews –-and last minute we might add— to what is roughly under $5M per Deadline sources. Please note that’s a very rough estimate for Thursday night, and AMC has not weighed in on that figure. Swift only announced moments before her world premiere last night that fans could snap up tickets early today for 6PM local time shows. Note her original plan was to kick off the concert film at 6PM Friday on Oct. 13; the day of her lucky number.
Some in distribution circles have snarked that the last-minute decision by team Swift to hold previews is a smack-in-the-face to die-hards who wanted to be the first at the concert pic’s initial showtimes (which were Friday at 6PM) which is expected to rack up $100M+ domestic at 3,850 theaters, and another $50M abroad for a $150M WW global weekend. However, let’s get real: You can always cancel and rebook your tickets. Or if you really love Swift, you can see her twice tonight and tomorrow night. Such is the blessed nature of capitalism. Note tonight’s previews were so last minute, that you can’t project a normal Friday off of the figure. Many are expecting tickets sales to be front-loaded which is the tendancy for younger skewing female movies. Another quotient not accounted for in tracking, which typically polls moviegoers: Most of Swift’s fans aren’t known to be regular moviegoers. That’s made box office forecasts on Eras Tour very tricky.
Yet the marvel of this opening has been pegged to the genius marketing power of Swift whose wattage counts more than 523M followers on social media per RelishMix across TikTok, X, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube subs. Swift is reportedly taking close to 60% of the theatrical box office on Eras Tour, with a very minimal marketing spend by AMC; reportedly around only $5M in TV spots. That’s a better deal than any studio would ever offer her; hence why Andrea and Scott Swift went with AMC CEO Adam Aron. A studio for a wide theatrical release will usually shell out anywhere from $35M-$50M+ to market and open a movie. Swift’s appearance at three of Kelce’s last four games has spiked ratings for NFL games. She’s only posted four times on Instagram in advance of the film: Talk about efficient marketing spend. What studio wouldn’t want that?
But keep in mind Swift is at her zeitgeist with a $2.2 billion grossing tour that’s been a difficult live event to get admission into. The answer here doesn’t lie in just pumping out more concert films for distributors, or exhibitors. It’s putting one out when an artist is at their pinnacle.
Nancy Tartaglione International Box Office Editor says that the Eras Tour is a difficult one to call overseas. There is no structured or collective coherence on distribution as far as we understand. Hell, we can’t even get a confirmed number of markets in the first suite given that it’s AMC’s first rodeo in box office reporting. Here’s what we understand: 4,150 theaters internationally in more than 90 countries, including Mexico, the UK, Philippines, Australia, Germany, Spain, and more. Others will join later. For reference, 90 countries is more than any studio has ever earmarked – Disney typically reports “material markets” which are about 52, Universal’s highest is in the low 80s and WB’s is in the high 70s, even after they changed how they roll up offshore a number of years ago So, 90? As one studio exec said to me today, “Where are they getting those?”
The majors that count here are the Anglo markets as well as Mexico, and, we estimate, Philippines. That’s where the pop star will pop.
On the low end, overseas B.O. could be at $30M. There’s hope that could go higher, but we’re also hearing that opening day shows are selling out in some markets and then petering off. We’ve heard that the $100M global pre-sales — $20M of those are for overseas markets.