Had forecasts not been as wild as they were, the phenomenal numbers that Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is delivering in its domestic box office debut would’ve been unblemished by expectations. Even though the movie fell short of the $100 million to $110 million opening weekend projections heading into its release, it still delivered one of the best debuts ever for the month of October, alongside Joker. However, The Eras Tour movie still kicks off its run by breaking a record as the biggest opening in history for a concert film. It is also the biggest domestic debut since the similarly celebratory Barbie.
The film is estimated to have grossed between $95 million and $97 million in its first weekend of release, which means that it can still beat the $96.2 million haul that Joker delivered in pre-pandemic 2019 and claim the October record. Other estimates are putting the film’s opening in the $94 million range. Either way, it’s a spectacular result for the concert film, which debuted on the back of unconventional publicity that peaked with cameo appearances by Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on the last evening’s Saturday Night Live. Directed by Sam Wrench, The Eras Tour bypassed studios entirely, and is being distributed by theater chains AMC and Cinemark across North America.
The film also debuted simultaneously across 90 international territories, with a second leg of release in remaining territories scheduled for November 3. Not that it would’ve altered its box office potential one bit, but The Eras Tour also holds the rare distinction of having earned a perfect 100% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to an A+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences, and a rave from Collider’s Ross Bonaime, who compared it favorably to Swift’s titular live tour — a celebration of her many “eras” as a pop-superstar.
It was a standard weekend otherwise, with last week’s debutante The Exorcist: Believer slipping to the number two spot after experiencing a rather hefty drop. The legacy sequel to the landmark original film directed by William Friedkin grossed an estimated $11 million in its second weekend, which takes its running domestic total to a lackluster $48 million. The film still hasn’t been able to match the $76 million that director David Gordon Green and Blumhouse last trilogy-starter, 2018’s Halloween, grossed in its opening weekend.
Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie took the third spot with an estimated third weekend haul of $7 million. The film has grossed nearly $50 million domestically, after having overtaken the original PAW Patrol: The Movie’s $40 million lifetime haul some days ago. On Friday, the animated sequel also passed the $100 million mark worldwide, and will soon overtake the first film’s $144 million lifetime haul. The fourth and fifth spots were claimed by Saw X and The Creator, which added $5.7 million and $4 million in their third weekends, respectively. The critically acclaimed 10th installment in the long-running horror franchise has grossed just over $40 million domestically, while director Gareth Edwards’ original science-fiction film appears to be running out of steam already, with $32 million in the bank. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.