Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film has become the highest-grossing in history, earning $100 million in advance global ticket sales. This surpasses 2011’s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” previously the record holder at $99 million.
Swift’s representatives held meetings with major studios, seeking an Eras Tour film distribution partner. Studios presented plans, but Swift seemed less interested in a post-theatrical release. She wanted to give unable-to-attend fans the concert experience. Some studios didn’t engage much, believing Swift wouldn’t be interested.
Talks stopped mid-summer. Months later, Swift announced an October theatrical release, partnering with AMC Theatres rather than a studio. Some studios felt burned and were annoyed with AMC for “encroaching.” But a source close to negotiations said everyone could bid.
Bypassing studios allow a quicker release without waiting for a studio calendar opening. Swift also receives around 57% of ticket sales, with theaters getting the rest, far more than a studio deal. Based on presales, she will earn at least $60 million, likely more. After theaters, she can make a separate home entertainment deal.
The film provides an unexpected boost for theaters in an otherwise slow fall after “Dune: Part Two” moved to 2024. It may earn $200-250 million, among the top 10 of the year. With fewer showtimes, screening only Thursdays through Sundays, Swift draws globally. After North America, it will debut simultaneously in 100 countries.
Promotion has been limited to Swift’s 350 million+ social media followers. As the biggest pop star, one post from her equals countless ads.