The Eras Tour concert film will hit theaters in North America beginning Oct. 13.
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Look what Taylor Swift made Universal do.
A concert film of Swift’s The Eras Tour is hitting movie theaters Friday, Oct. 13. That was going to be the same day as the next installment of the “The Exorcist” horror franchise. Now the demonic possession film will be released Oct. 6, distributor Universal announced hours after Swift said when her movie would hit.
Alas, the opportunity for a new Barbenheimer is lost. Earlier this summer, Warner Bros. Discovery’s “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer” hit theaters on the same day, July 21, leading to a double-feature cultural event and driving massive box office sales.
The makings for the next big crazy movie double feature were there. Soon after news broke about the Eras Tour movie release date, the #Exorswift hashtag started to catch on.
Even Jason Blum, who leads Blumhouse, the studio that produced the new horror flick, endorsed the idea.
Blum later tweeted, however, the hashtag #TaylorWins.
“The Exorcist: Believer” takes place 50 years after the original film. The film stars Leslie Odom Jr. of “Hamilton” fame and Ellen Burstyn, who starred in the 1973 demonic possession classic.
Based on the 1971 William Peter Blatty novel of the same name, “The Exorcist” is the second-highest grossing film of all time, when adjusted for inflation.
Photo: Warner Bros.
Could pop star royalty like Swift and two young girls possessed by the devil have had the same effect as Barbenheimer?
“The Eras Tour has been the most meaningful, electric experience of my life so far and I’m overjoyed to tell you that it’ll be coming to the big screen soon,” Swift posted Thursday on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.
Swift’s concert film documents the wildly popular tour that raked in millions and was on its way to hit a record-breaking $1 billion in sales earlier this summer.
The film will play at the nation’s largest theater chains including AMC, Regal and Cinemark on weekends until Nov. 5. AMC shares fell more than 1% Thursday, while Cinemark’s rose more than 1%.
Additionally, LOOK Cinemas, B&B Theatres, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres and Harkins Theatres, alongside other smaller chains will showcase the filmed concert.
The film release comes at a time when Hollywood is grappling with dual labor strikes and the departure of films like Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s “Dune: Part II” from the 2023 film slate.
“This was the biggest concert event of the year and so many Swifties have been unable to see her live,” said Karen Melton, vice president of marketing at Malco Theatres. “We’re excited to make this available to all her fans in our markets.”Malco owns dozens of theaters in Swift’s home state of Tennessee.
Tickets for Swift’s Era Tours concert movie are selling fast and expectations are high for its debut weekend. As soon as tickets went on sale, fans encountered wait times and lags at both AMC Theatres’ website and app.
“Thank you for your patience as we experience high traffic volume. We have proactively created this queue for all visitors,” a message on AMC’s site read. “When it is your turn, you will have 10 minutes to begin your TAYLOR SWIFT | THE ERAS TOUR Concert Film ticket purchase or other online visit.”
Notably, AMC Stubs rewards members will not be able to apply the loyalty program’s perks to their purchase, meaning they will have to pay full price for tickets. AMC Stubs “A-List” is a monthly membership that gives users the ability to see three movies each week with no fees for reservations or upgrading to premium format screens.
The movie theater company noted that more than three million fans attended the tour in the first leg of its U.S. run, shattering concert sales records.
“It would be unwise to underestimate the power of Taylor Swift to draw legions of Swifties to the multiplex, but the release [could] also could draw new fans looking to get in on the Eras Tour experience,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “This could propel an unprecedented opening weekend that could perhaps top $100 million.”
“The Exorcist: Believer” is expected to generate between $10 million and $20 million during its now-earlier opening weekend.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “Oppenheimer” and “The Exorcist: Believer.”
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