Taylor Swift has already conquered the music industry, but now she’s reshaping Hollywood.
Worldwide pre-sales for her concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour have reached a record $100 million – after she rejected the involvement of major Hollywood studios and struck a distribution deal directly with AMC Theaters.
Swift’s father and mother, Scott and Andrea Swift, reached a deal with AMC CEO Adam Aron during secret talks that lasted several weeks.
Typically, movie producers will recruit a big-name studio for marketing and distribution – in return for a large share of the box office revenue. But Swift and her family were reportedly disappointed by the studios’ demands, so they scrapped and went straight to AMC, the world’s largest theater chain.
And the decision will likely prove to be very profitable for Swift, considering the huge pre-sale figures that come with it estimates of $100 million for its opening weekend on October 13. This year’s top-grossing film, Barbie, grossed $162 million in its debut weekend.
The launch follows her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs football player Travis Kelce, which has tipped the eternal hype surrounding Swift into total hysteria.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film will launch in theaters on October 13 after the singer and her family struck a deal with AMC Theaters, which turned down a lucrative distribution deal for Hollywood studios
Swift’s film has already grossed $100 million in pre-sales and analysts say it’s on track for an opening weekend that could surpass Barbie’s $162 million (Photo: Margot Robbie as Barbie)
And Hollywood executives are said to be furious about the AMC deal, which could change the way producers distribute their films.
The movie signals that producers can go directly to theaters to distribute their work — and theater chains like AMC, still reeling from the damage caused by Covid, can acquire big-name films without the need for a middleman.
In a further sign of the turmoil that arises when Hollywood remains in the dark, the upcoming Exorcist film has already had to change its release date after clashing with the Swift film.
Swift’s Eras Tour has already become a global phenomenon since it kicked off in March.
The 146-show tour, which runs until November 2024, broke records for ticket sales (2.4 million in one day) and is even credited with helping the global economy recover post-Covid by generating an estimated $5 billion in consumer spending.
The film, directed by Sam Wrench, was filmed largely over three shows in August at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Swift’s father was connected to Aron through a mutual friend about his “crazy idea” to release the film directly to theaters and bypass studios in the distribution process, according to Puk. Her family are said to be ‘disappointed’ by talks with Hollywood’s usual distributors.
The conversations with Aron also took place during the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which has halted filming on many major projects, leaving studios closed and theaters short of blockbuster releases to look forward to.
Swift was able to strike a deal with the union that meant work on the film could continue without upsetting tens of thousands of industry professionals participating in the writers’ strike.
From Swift’s perspective, the AMC deal has allowed her to distribute the film on her own terms, without the role of Hollywood power players who can account for up to 70 percent of the revenue a film generates during an opening weekend .
Puck reported that Swift’s parents struck a deal with Aron where 43 percent of the gross proceeds would remain with the theaters and the remaining 57 percent would be split between Swift and AMC.
It’s not clear how much Swift will take of the 57 percent split, but the presale numbers alone suggest it will be at least tens of millions of dollars. The film had a budget of $10 million to $20 million.
Swift’s father and mother, Scott and Andrea Swift (pictured), made arrangements with AMC CEO Adam Aron during secret talks that lasted several weeks
Swift’s Eras Tour has already become a global phenomenon since it kicked off in March. The 146-show tour, which runs until November 2024, has broken records for ticket sales and is even credited with helping the global economy bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.
Swift’s parents agreed to a deal with Aron (pictured) in which 43 percent of the gross profits would remain with the theaters and the remaining 57 percent would be split between Swift and AMC.
AMC has also appointed Variance Films, an independent sub-distributor, to show the films on screens at other chains, including Regal and Cinemark.
The highest-grossing film of the year so far is Barbie, which grossed $1.43 billion worldwide and $633 million in the US. Barbie was released on the same day as Oppenheimer, grossing the third highest of the year with $934 million.
The Eras Tour film is on pace to approach Barbie’s $162 million opening weekend. Theaters are required to show the film for a minimum of four weeks, but can show it for a maximum of 26 weeks.
It’s believed Swift hasn’t sold the streaming rights yet, but the deal will allow it to hit streaming services 13 weeks after its theatrical release.
Taylor Swift first made waves on the internet when she was spotted with Kelce’s mother, Donna, at Arrowhead Stadium on September 24 during the first half of an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs.
Striking a deal with AMC outside the Hollywood bubble has also caused headaches for other producers with upcoming releases.
The film’s October 13 release date clashed with that of The Exorcist: Believer, forcing producers of the horror film to move the launch to October 6. Exorcist producer Jason Blum tweeted in August: “Look what you made me do! #taylorwins’.
Fans had previously touted the venues as the “Exorswift” before the schedule change, stoking excitement for a Barbenheimer-style double release.
Ticket prices for the Eras Tour film are set at $19.89 for adults, matching Swift’s birth year and the name of her fifth studio album.