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Weekend Box Office: Taylor Swift falls short of Joker’s October record

Despite strong pre-sale numbers, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour fell short of Joker’s record October opening

Despite strong pre-sales, Taylor Swift was no match for Joker at the box office as it failed to take down that film’s $96.2 million opening to become the highest domestic opening for the month of October. With $96 million, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is the second highest opening ever for the month of October. Although with just $202,337 separating the two films, it is possible we see a new champ when final numbers are reported tomorrow although some studios think the film will come in closer to the $94 million mark. Despite missing the October record, the film officially became the highest grossing concert film ever at the domestic box office as it beat out Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’s entire domestic gross by about $23 million. There is some debate about whether Michael Jackson’s: This is It is considered a concert film or a documentary that chronicles the making of his final concert prior to his death, but if you count it as a concert film, then Swift still has a ways to go to catch up to the king of pop’s worldwide total of $261.1 million. 

It may be hard to catch that total when The Eras Tour has zero showtimes during the week. This one is strictly a weekend event (which apparently now includes Thursdays). I’m not entirely sure what the thought process was in making that decision, but if you wanted to see this one in theaters you either have to go today (where most showtimes, at least at my local theater, are sold out) or wait until next weekend (with showtimes starting on Thursday).

taylor swift, eras tour, concert film

The film received an A+ cinemascore and currently has a 99% audience score, which is rarefied air. Was there ever any doubt this film would receive such high audience ratings? It’s not a typical movie where a trailer makes it look good only to be disappointed by the end result (I’m looking at you Exorcist: Believer). This movie was sold as exactly what it is: a Taylor Swift concert event on the big screen and anyone who bought tickets knew exactly what they were getting and as exit polls show, they loved every second of it. In our Thursday predictions I asked the question about whether this film was super front loaded or would have solid walk up business? It appears the “swifties” mostly purchased their tickets in advance as it appears to be a 60-40 split for pre-sales vs walk up, which is why this one couldn’t get to the magical $100 million in its opening weekend. So the real question is: what type of legs will this one have? With premium pricing in place and a no subscription service policy (meaning no AMC Stubs A-List), I wonder how many people will be willing to see this one multiple times or how many new audience members will take in the film in subsequent weeks? Of course, I have learned to never doubt the power of Taylor Swift’s fan base!

Dropping a spot to second place is The Exorcist: Believer with a far better hold than I expected. The David Gordon Green directed legacy sequel came in with an estimated $11 million, representing just a 58% drop. In our Thursday predictions, I expected this one to have a catastrophic 70% decline, so that number is actually pretty solid for the critically maligned film. It appears the studio has heard the backlash from this film and will be moving forward with the planned sequels, but will apparently be re-working them in hopes of garnering stronger critic and fan reactions. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 4/10 review here.

David Gordon Green's The Exorcist: Believer, the first in a new trilogy of Exorcist sequels, has secured an R rating

The remainder of the top ten are your holdover titles with Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie drawing in the family crowd with an additional $7 million while the more Halloween season films like Saw X (fourth place- $5.7 million), A Haunting in Venice (sixth place- $2.05 million) and The Nun II (eighth place- $1.6 million) saw decent holds. That is great news for Saw X which is seeing excellent reviews propel this one to box office glory. As a fan of the series, I hope to see more films in the franchise, but only if they can retain this level of story telling. Even though I enjoyed all of the films, at a certain point the story lost its way. And to all the snarky people out there: yes, the Saw films did have a great story to tell about morality with the first film having one of the best endings of all time.

Rounding out the top ten was The Creator with $4.3 million followed by the Duck Dynasty faith based film The Blind with $2.02 million while Denzel Washington’s Equalizer 3 looks at an additional $960,000 as it looks to finish its domestic run just shy of the $100 million mark. Coming in tenth place is the excellent and actually genuinely hilarious stock market film (yes, I just said “genuinely hilarious stock market film”) Dumb Money with an additional $920,000 added to its lackluster $12.6 million domestic total. That number is not indicative of the quality of the movie and I really hope this one finds its audience once it hits the home video market.

Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw in the comments section. Since this is a Taylor Swift kind of weekend, our weekly poll asks: What is your favorite Taylor Swift Movie? (A movie in which she has appeared, not one of her music related films such as The Eras Tour)

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-taylor-swift-falls-short-of-jokers-october-record/

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