Thursday, May 30, 2024

Taylor Swift Eras Tour to Beat Killers of the Flower Moon

It’s Scorsese vs. Swift at the box office.

Martin Scorsese’s star-studded crime epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” this weekend’s only new nationwide release, is targeting $20 million to $30 million from its debut in 3,621 North American theaters. But it’ll be no match for last weekend’s champion, Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” which looks to lead again with $30 million to $40 million in its sophomore outing.

Paramount Pictures is distributing the $200 million-budgeted “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which was backed by Apple and will eventually land on its streaming service at a later date. Box office experts are split on whether its projected mid-$20 million debut would be disappointing for such an expensive film or impressive for an adult-skewing drama that runs at nearly three and a half hours. It’s unclear what a streaming giant like Apple (which pays Paramount a distribution fee) constitutes as a success in the theatrical space. Either way, it’s a bold big-screen bet for Apple, marking the widest release ever for a movie backed by a streaming service. Later this year, Apple plans to theatrically release Ridley Scott’s splashy historical drama “Napoleon” in partnership with Sony.

Several factors will play into the opening weekend of the R-rated “Killers of the Flower Moon,” including a butt-numbing runtime that will limit the number of screenings per day. However, that didn’t prevent long movies like Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” or “The Eras Tour” from raking in the big bucks this year. Also, the ongoing actors strike has limited the press opportunities for stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons and Brendan Fraser and resulted in Scorsese carrying the bulk of promotion since the movie premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is adapted from David Grann’s 2017 novel about the mysterious murders that took place after major oil deposits were discovered on the Osage nation’s land in the early 1920s, as well as the newly formed FBI’s investigation of the bloodshed. It’s Scorsese’s first movie to play in theaters since his 2016 religious drama “Silence,” which didn’t exactly resonate with audiences despite rapturous reviews. The film, starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as Jesuit priests who search for their mentor in Japan, generated just $7.1 million domestically and $23 million globally on a $50 million budget. In between then and now, Scorsese directed 2019’s “The Irishman,” which got a token theatrical release before landing on Netflix, and the Bob Dylan music doc “Rolling Thunder Revue,” which also went to Netflix.

Unless projections for “Killers of the Flower Moon” or “The Eras Tour” are wildly off, Swift’s concert film should handily remain in first place. Even though ticket sales are expected to dramatically decline from its $92.8 million debut, “The Eras Tour” already stands as a massive commercial winner. The film, which has grossed $123 million globally, cost around $15 million to produce and required a smaller marketing spend than the average blockbuster.

Given its unusual scheduling (it’s not playing in theaters on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays), the film’s box office trajectory is difficult to track. Though it is screening far less than the average nationwide release, moviegoers only have the option to watch the film on Thursdays through Sundays, so there aren’t any midweek grosses to cut into the weekend tally.

Further complicating any projections, Swift set admission at $19.89, in reference to her birth year and 2014 album, for adults and $13.13, alluding to her lucky number, for children and seniors — so tickets are more expensive than the nation’s average price.

Those higher ticket prices haven’t deterred Swifties. “The Eras Tour” is already the highest-grossing concert film in North America, surpassing 2011’s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” ($73 million) and the second-biggest globally, behind 2009’s “Michael Jackson: This Is It” ($261 million). Needless to say, it’s providing a much-needed boost to movie theater owners this fall.

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HomeReviews FilmsTaylor Swift Eras Tour to Beat Killers of the Flower Moon

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