The film version of Taylor Swift’s stadium tour held on to the box-office lead for a second-straight weekend, outdrawing a new Martin Scorsese drama from Apple Inc.
(Bloomberg) — The film version of Taylor Swift’s stadium tour held on to the box-office lead for a second-straight weekend, outdrawing a new Martin Scorsese drama from Apple Inc.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour brought in $31 million in North American ticket sales, Comscore Inc. said Sunday in a statement. Killers of the Flower Moon, the first-ever big-screen release from Apple Original Films, opened with sales of $23 million.
The Swift film has provided fresh content for theaters owners still looking to win back business lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing women in especially large numbers. Though box-office sales are up this year, they remain below their pre-pandemic peak.
Apple, meanwhile, is bankrolling Scorsese to buoy demand for its streaming service. While the esteemed director’s work is often critically acclaimed, his pictures aren’t always a sure thing at the box office. His biggest opening was Shutter Island in 2010, with weekend sales of $41.1 million, according to Comscore Inc.
Killers stars Leonardo DiCaprio, whose character is complicit in the murder of Osage Nation members in the 1920s after oil is found on their land.
Apple plans to spend $1 billion a year on films that will be released in theaters, Bloomberg News reported in March, joining rival streamer Amazon.com Inc. in making a commitment to that struggling industry. Since the pandemic, cinema owners have complained about a shortage of big film releases.
The theater-centric strategy also plays well with directors and actors like Scorsese and DiCaprio, who like the public showcase their pictures get from a big-screen release. Because of the current actors strike, cast members were barred from promoting the film.
Read more: Apple to Spend $1 Billion a Year on Films to Break Into Cinemas
The ultimate calculus for Apple, however, isn’t ticket sales, but whether the movie generates awareness and subscriber numbers for its Apple TV+ online platform. It will become available for streaming in 45 days or more.
With its weekend take, The Eras Tour is edging closer to claiming the title for the highest-grossing concert movie ever. The picture captured the domestic record in its debut, and is now moving into position to take the global crown. The current record of $261.2 million is held by Michael Jackson’s This Is It from 2009, according to Box Office Mojo.
While a boon to theaters, the release of Swift’s film forced one studio to reschedule a picture. Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures released The Exorcist: Believer a week earlier to avoid head-to-head competition with The Eras Tour.
Another big concert film is in the works for December. Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé is scheduled to open on Dec. 1. To avoid competition with that picture, Walt Disney Co. is planning to reschedule The Bikeriders, which was planned for the same weekend.
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