Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated tour documentary, The Eras Tour, had an impressive start at the box office, grossing $2.8 million from surprise Thursday evening shows in North America.
While this number is respectable, it could have been even higher if there had been more time to promote the early screenings. Additionally, some fans had already purchased tickets and were unable to exchange them for the first showings.
However, despite these factors, experts believe that The Eras Tour will ultimately become a monumental cinematic event, similar to the success of the Barbie movie this summer. AMC Theatres, the distributor of the film, is predicting a record-breaking $150 million global opening, with $100 million expected domestically.
Some industry insiders even believe that these numbers could be surpassed, with a possibility of reaching $200 million due to the overwhelming demand and numerous sold-out shows. The film is playing in over 8,000 theaters across more than 90 countries and has already amassed over $100 million in pre-sales.
Late Wednesday, Taylor Swift took to social media to excitedly announce that fans no longer had to wait until 6 pm on October 13th to see The Eras Tour in the US and Canada. However, by midday on Thursday, seat maps at many theaters, including top locations in New York City and Los Angeles, showed that the newly added Thursday night and Friday afternoon shows were not fully booked.
While the IMAX and Dolby screenings fared better, it was still challenging to find a sold-out screening. One possible explanation for this, according to box office sources, is that dedicated Taylor Swift fans, known as “Swifties,” had already purchased tickets for Friday night or over the weekend. Normally, they could have switched their tickets to attend the Thursday evening or early Friday afternoon shows when they were added to the schedule. However, “The Eras Tour” tickets are non-refundable, which is unusual in the movie business.
It’s worth noting that this summer, Barbie made $223 million in Thursday previews, but it had a traditional release. In contrast, “The Eras Tour” is being positioned as more of a special event. Neither Taylor Swift’s team nor AMC have disclosed the reasons behind the last-minute decision to add the early showings.