How Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Film Expands Retail

Taylor Swift is bringing her “Eras Tour” concert film to movie theaters on October 13, 2023. This event could form the blueprint for how concerts, music, and retail can form a mutually beneficial alliance in the future.

Introduction – Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Concert Film

What is Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Concert Film?

Taylor Swift is set to release a concert film of her “Eras Tour” in movie theaters this fall. Similar to the concert spanning more than three hours. The Eras Tour concert film is earmarked for 2h45m in length. It will feature performances from all of Swift’s eras, from her debut album “Taylor Swift” to her latest album “Midnights”.

The film is expected to be a major event for Swift fans, and it could also have a significant impact on the movie theater industry. Concert films have traditionally been released on DVD or Blu-ray, but the release of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” in theaters could mark a new era for the genre.

Officer trailer to the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” Source: YouTube / Taylor Swift

Changing The Movie Watching Experience

There are several reasons why the release of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” could be a major event for the movie theater industry and retail with new experiences and merchandise opportunities abound.

Unprecedented Early Rollout Schedule

First, Swift is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and her fans are incredibly loyal. Producing and releasing a concert film within weeks of the completion of the tour’s first North American leg is highly unprecedented. This will drive momentum and hype for the concert film from the release date all the way through Thanksgiving and the holidays. Taylor Swift is known to include many Easter eggs in her records. This concert film will have high replay value for fans looking for all the Easter eggs and lighting up social media forums.

3 Million Tickets Did Not Curb Overall Market Demand

Second, the film will feature performances from all of Swift’s eras, which means that it will appeal to fans of all ages. While more than 3 million tickets were sold on the first leg of the tour, there were countless fans who were not able to secure tickets to watch the concert in person. The concert film opportunity allows fans to have a center seat to experience the Eras Tour on a wide screen in surround sound without breaking the bank.

Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” concert poster

IMAX Format Brings The Audience Directly To The Concert

Third, the film is being released in IMAX theaters, which means that it will be an immersive experience for fans. This could help to make the film more appealing to people who are not typically interested in concert films. Additionally, the IMAX format will bring audiences closer to the concert experience over watching YouTube videos.

New Distribution Strategy Drives Higher Revenue

Fourth, Taylor Swift is working with AMC directly to distribute the concert film to movie theaters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico (AMC secured deals with major theatrical exhibitors at Cinemark in the United States, Cineplex in Canada, and Cinepolis in Mexico). 43% of the gross would be kept by movie theater owners (which is very high). The rest of the 57% will be split between Taylor Swift and AMC.

The movie theater chain will play the concert film at least four times daily between October 13 to 16, 2023. In an interesting move, the concert film will only be shown during the traditionally higher-traffic period of Thursday to Sunday.

Ticket sale has been very robust. While box office estimates vary, the one-of-a-kind concert film event could rack in between US$100-300 million. This concert film will likely become history-making for this type of genre eclipsing pioneer films like Madonna’s Truth Or Dare, Prince: Sign O’ the Times, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, and Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011): $73,013,910

This Is It (2009): $72,091,016 

Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008): $65,281,781

Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991): $38,250,255  

Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012): $31,242,962 

U2 3D (2008): $27,604,236 

Beyoncé: Live at Roseland (2014): $20,602,631 

One Direction: This Is Us (2013): $19,183,001 

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (2009): $19,163,199

Coldplay: Live 2012 (2012): $18,408,623

Garth Brooks: Live at Central Park (2009): $17,374,602

Celine Dion: Taking Chances World Tour (2010): $15,989,910

Fun Fact: Taylor Swift already released a concert film previously. Taylor Swift: Speak Now World Tour Live made $14,623,025 back in 2011. Her last major tour in support of her “Reputation” album was shown on Netflix.

Merchandise Opportunities

Fifth, movie theater owners are already preparing for merchandise (such as unique popcorn tubs and soft drink glasses) tying into the concert film event. Retail Mashup discussed the opportunities ranging from pop-up stores to early tour engagement back in July 2023.

With such a tight schedule, it is unlikely that movie theater owners would be able to procure concert merchandise for sale. Perhaps this would be something other artists should consider as they plan out their own concert film release strategy.

The Future Beyond The Eras Tour Concert Film

2022 and 2023 have been a boon for many artists to return to the concert circuit. Beyoncé, Madonna, and Pink are on tour while Harry Styles and Elton John just completed their own mega tour with the latter having the record for the biggest concert series gross of over US$930 million. Look for some or all of these artists to monitor The Eras Tour concert film closely for release strategies.

With concerts having sky-high prices, film experiences like this could drive additional revenue for movie theater owners, distributions, and artists. The retail experience within the movie theater should be changed to adapt to the changing landscapes with more Instagrammable interactive experiences like the ones for Barbie, The Movie.

Similar to that movie, it is likely that the concert film goers will dress up in Taylor Swift-inspired outfits to ensure their overall experience. There are opportunities for brands to mobilize and help these fans.

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