In what turned out to be less of a battle than expected, the second weekend of TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR earned significantly more than the opening weekend of Martin Scorsese’s KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON.
ERAS grossed $31.0M over the last three days and $129.8M since it opened ten days ago, while FLOWER MOON earned $23.0M in its opening three days. All films together sold $84.3M for the weekend, lower than the same weekend last year which produced $115.8M led by $67.0M for Dwayne Johnson’s superhero debut in BLACK ADAM.
Next weekend, Universal’s intriguing horror movie FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S will win the box office race, but it has been Taylor Swift who has lifted exhibitors’ fortunes for the past two weekends on her talented shoulders.
Despite the first-place finish, some signs indicate that Taylor’s dance party might be winding down. The second-weekend drop for THE ERAS TOUR was a steep 67%, which calls into question how the movie will perform over the remainder of its 90-day run in theatres.
Its first weekend was magical, setting a new record for a concert film. The $92.8M it took in during its first three days far outpaced the prior record holder, Justin Bieber’s NEVER SAY NEVER which grossed $29.5M in its 2011 debut.
Exhibitors are delighted to have the traffic, which was a pleasant surprise announced by Swift to her fans as recently as August 31st. Certainly, theatres can use any help that is offered to counteract the negative effects of Hollywood’s actors’ strike, which has just passed its 100th day with no end in sight.
THE ERAS TOUR has received among the best ratings ever on Rotten Tomatoes for a wide-release movie, 98% from critics and 99% from audiences. This could translate into word-of-mouth and repeat business from fans.
In fact, the movie edition may be considered a relative bargain, costing only $20 for a “premium” movie ticket compared with the $ 100 charged for a seat at one of the live concerts on the tour. Add in digital projection, surround sound, and the big screen as well as comfy seats and affordable concessions, and taking in a concert at your local movie theatre may seem to be a winning deal.
Martin Scorsese’s KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON rustled $23.0M in its opening weekend, making it #2 on the box office charts. This Western epic was directed and produced by Martin Scorsese under Apple Studios and with theatrical distribution managed by Paramount.
Critics have welcomed it with a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes, a worthy addition to Scorsese’s legacy as one of Hollywood’s best storytellers. Moviegoers that lasted through the three- and one-half-hour running time were also positive, giving an 85% audience rating.
Scorsese will celebrate his 81st birthday on November 17th and has been making breathtaking pictures for 60 years. He has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Director nine times and won the award in 2007 for THE DEPARTED. His filmography includes 26 features including TAXI DRIVER (1976), RAGING BULL (1980), THE COLOR OF MONEY (1986), GOODFELLAS (1990), CASINO (1995), GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002), THE AVIATOR (2004), THE DEPARTED (2006), SHUTTER ISLAND (2010), WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), and THE IRISHMAN (2019). His well-established pattern is to deliver a new masterpiece every four years and is continuing at that pace again.
Critics expect FLOWER MOON to receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and multiple Best Actor/Actress categories, putting itself in direct competition with Christopher Nolan’s OPPENHEIMER. This true story takes place in Oklahoma at the turn of the twentieth century, when the discovery of oil under the lands of the Osage Nation brought sudden wealth to the Native American tribe.
Unfortunately, the newfound riches attract interlopers who manipulate tribe members to steal their wealth, eventually leading to murder. The screenplay was adapted from a 2017 book by David Grann, which recounts the period known as the Reign of Terror.
Scorsese prefers to cast actors he has worked with on earlier projects and with FLOWER MOON he is reteamed with Robert DeNiro for the tenth time and Leonardo DiCaprio for the sixth time. Their exceptional performances are complemented by those of Lily Gladstone, Jessee Plemons, John Lithgow, and Branden Fraser.
THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER took third place with $5.6M this weekend, a drop of 49%. The sequel is capitalizing on interest in horror in the weeks leading up to Halloween, having grossed $54.2M domestic over the past 17 days and likely to wind up its theatrical run with $90M in total worldwide box office.
PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE landed in fourth by earning $4.5M, a decline of only 35% from last weekend. The pups have been the family favorite of the fall, having earned $56.1M in U.S. and Canadian theatres already, with three more weeks to go before TROLLS BAND TOGETHER arrives to take away the kids.
Disney’s re-release of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS came in fifth place with $4.1M. The classic holiday mash-up by Tim Burton opened 30 years ago on October 15, 1993. It tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who upsets the citizens of his town after he discovers Christmas Town and tries to bring the Christmas holiday home.
The importance of re-releases may increase if the actor strike continues. Disney will surely have an advantage in this game, with its extensive library of well-known and beloved classics.
WHERE ARE WE AS OF 10/19
After 41 weeks, 2023 year-to-date totals are 127% compared with the amount earned at this same point in 2022, and 84% of the amount earned in 2019.