Taylor Swift during the Eras Tour. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ronald Woan)
Swifties made up almost half of all cinemagoers in Australia last weekend, with The Eras Tour easily landing at the top of the box office.
The Taylor Swift concert film, distributed by Trafalgar Releasing, captured a 44 per cent market share, generating $3.8 million from 480 screens.
In North America, The Eras Tour generated an estimated $US95-97 million, a record for a concert film; pro-rata the Australia result lags far behind. The global tally stands between $US126-130 million, with the film also landing at no. 1 in the UK, Mexico, Germany and the Philippines. A majority of tickets were pre-sold, with the film having already cracked $US100 million globally last week.
Exhibitors around the country encouraged audiences to come dressed up and wearing friendship bracelets. Hoyts reports that audiences opted to see the film in premium formats such as Xtremescreen and LUX. Village had even been promoting private Gold Class screenings for the from $1,989, with themed popcorn buckets and cups.
Village head of content Geoff Chard tells IF the results are remarkable, noting it has already surpassed Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert ($1.3m lifetime) and One Direction: This Is Us ($3.05 million lifetime), and not too far short of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($4.33 million), which it will easily pass this coming weekend.
“WOM on the concert film has been amazing, with audiences dancing in the aisles and singing along to their favourite songs. It has truly become and event film, something that has to be seen on the big screen, with a strong Gold Class audience wanting the luxury concert experience,” he says.
Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell also tells IF it was an amazing event, with fans coming out “in droves” and creating an atmosphere within theatres that was just like a real concert. However, he posits that Australia posted a third of the US result, pro-rata, given it was announced late in Australia and Swift is yet to tour here (she will in February).
“The level of walk-ups was unexpectedly low, with most tickets being purchased in advance by fans, but we did see some evidence of multiple viewings by some superfans over the weekend, and have had some strong enquiries for next week and great reviews and word of mouth will help to sustain it despite the upfront nature of the release,” he says.
“Overall, I think we had hoped for a slightly stronger result from it, but it was still a record-breaking concert release and an event that has got people talking about cinemas, and hopefully sets us up for more of these types of things in future.”
The Eras Tour was the weekend’s only major release, with distributors seemingly not game to counterprogram anything new against the film. Indeed, it took up most of the oxygen, with no other title managing to crack $1 million.
Despite the pull of Swift, it was the quietest weekend at the box office since late March, with the top 20 titles tallying $8.2 million, down 6 per cent on the previous.
The weekend’s no. 2 film, Universal’s The Exorcist: Believer, took $676,753 in its second weekend, a drop of 44 per cent, advancing to $2.2 million.
Disney sci-fi The Creator took $648,620 in its third frame, moving to $4.3 million. Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie dropped 55 per cent as school holidays ended, with a fourth weekend result of $516,707 moving the title to $7.2 million.
Saw X is at $2.6 million for Studiocanal after drawing $379,593 in its third outing, while EXPEND4BLES fell 47 per cent in its second to $359,237, advancing to $1.2 million for Roadshow.
The end of school holidays also hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hard, with the Paramount title dropping 61 per cent to $327,630. Now six weekends in, the animation now stands at $9.8 million overall.
Universal’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 tallies $7.3 million after a sixth weekend result of $217,377, while Disney’s A Haunting in Venice is at $4.1 million after ringing up $193,770 in its fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 was Universal’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, which dropped 65 per cent with kids back to school to earn $156,857 in its fourth weekend. It stands at $3.4 million overall.