Update: “This one is hard to predict,” is the constant mantra this weekend among rival box office sources guesstimating the opening swing for Sam Wrench’s Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert movie. Friday is currently pegged in the $40M-$50M range with a big spread of $107M-$130M at 3,850 theaters for the weekend as a whole.

On the high-end, that could be the third biggest opening at the 2023 domestic B.O. after Barbie ($162m) and Super Mario Bros’ 3-day of $146.3M. Added another source about the Eras Tour outlook: “Prepare for us to be wrong.”

Why are Swift concert film projections calculus to box office bean counters instead of the usual weekly algebra? Basically, there’s an enormous amount of frontloaded presales here, plus the x-factor is how many walk-ups occur. Add to that the standard drops on Saturday night with a young-female skewing title. One source has The Eras Tour tracking ahead of Barbie‘s pure Friday gross (less $22.3M Thursday previews), which was $48.2M. That said, no one is expecting Swift here to play out like Barbie which strutted to a $162M opening. We’ll have more updates as they come.

 

Meanwhile, haters aren’t going to hate: Critics on Rotten Tomatoes are giving Eras Tour a 100% score. AMC isn’t sending out official figures until tomorrow.

Early Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak from last night, which was combed from $2.8M previews, gave Eras Tours five stars or 95% positive. Parents gave it 4 stars and kids under 12, 5 stars. Thursday night leaned 76% women with females under 25 at 42%, females over 25 at 34% and guys way behind at 15% over 25 and 9% under. Moms, natch, outnumbered Dads, 67% to 33% with an jawdropping 95% girls making up the majority of kids under 12. Best grades are women over 25 (100%) and under (97%) while men over 25 grit their teeth for 2 hours and 48 minutes giving Eras Tour its lowest grade of 78%. Note: These exits will shift over the weekend.

Olivia from ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ is screaming because Taylor Swift arrived at the box office this weekend and is soaking up all the oxygen.Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The weeken’d runner up looks to be Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek’s Exorcist: Believer at 3,684 locations. It’s seeing a second Friday of $3.8M, second weekend of $11M, -58%, for a ten-day of $44.9M

 

Third is Paramount/Spin Master’s Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie ($1.45M third Friday, $5.7M third weekend, -50% with $48.5M at 3,707 theaters). Fourth is Liongate’s third weekend of Saw X ($5.4M, -31%) after a $1.9M estimated Friday and cume by Sunday of $41.1M while New Regency/20th Century Studio’s The Creator is in fifth at 2,960 theaters with a third Friday of $950K estimated, $3.3M 3-day and $31.3M running total.

Previously: The AMC distributed Taylor Swift: Eras Tour concert movie officially made $2.8M in Thursday night previews.

We told you last night that the rough estimate was below $5M. The pic played in 2,700 theatres with showings last night beginning at 6 p.m. local time.

Remember, these previews aren’t indicative of how the weekend will go. Projections of $100M+ stateside still stand at 3,855 theaters. Swift announced Wednesday night moments before her premiere that she was pivoting her lucky 13 release date plan of Friday 6PM to Thursday night previews for the Sam Wrench directed movie. In certain places, advance tickets for the concert film last night didn’t go on sale until six to eight hours before showtime.

In addition, Swift was competing with herself last night: If you were a die-hard fan, chances are you could have been watching her at the Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos game where she was cheering on Travis Kelce.

There are technically no comps to last night, not only because of the last-minute addition of Thursday previews, but also there haven’t been many wide release concert movies in the preview millennium era of box office. Interestingly enough, the midnight showtime starts for Michael Jackson concert docu, This Is It, drew $2.2M on its Tuesday night, Oct. 27, before posting a $7.4M Wednesday and $34.4M five-day.

The last minute showtimes for Eras Tour didn’t take too much air out of the sleepy autumn box office with Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek’s The Exorcist: Believer earning an estimated $1.3M yesterday at 3,663 theaters, -9% from Wednesday for a first week of $33.9M.

Lionsgate’s Saw X at 3,262 theaters did $729K yesterday, +1% from Wednesday, and $11.3M in week 2 and $35.7M running cume.

Paramount and Spin Master’s second week of Paw Patrol: The Might Movie earned $15.8M after a second Thursday of $620K, +2%, at 4,027 theaters. The animated pic’s running total is $42.8M.

New Regency/20th Century Studios/Disney’s The Creator at 3,680 theaters grossed $571K on Thursday, even with Wednesday, with a second week of $9.3M and a running total of $28M.

Fathom Events’ The Blind saw $271K at 1,312 theaters, and a second week of $4.5M and a running total of $11.9M.

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