Taylor Swift Concert Film Beats ‘Color Moon Killers’

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NEW YORK – In a movie matchup almost as unlikely as “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” Martin Scorsese squared off against Taylor Swift in theaters this weekend. And while the box office belonged to “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” for the second time, Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” got off to a strong start in Apple Studios’ first major theatrical gambit.

After a record opening weekend of $92.8 million, “Taylor Swift: The Tour of Ages” grossed about $31 million from 3,855 locations, according to AMC Theaters. In an unconventional deal, the theater chain is distributing Swift’s concert film and showing it only Thursday through Sunday.

Most Swifties rushed to see the film on its opening weekend, when a large percentage of sales were pre-sold. Sales plummeted 67% in its second weekend, potentially meaning The Eras Tour is mostly an opening weekend phenomenon.

But “The Eras Tour” still turned out to be a film event unlike any other. Within days, it became the highest-grossing concert film in North America, unadjusted for inflation. It quickly amassed $129.8 million domestically.

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He was more involved with Killers of the Flower Moon, a historical crime drama about a series of murders against the Osage Nation in the early 1920s. The movie, which cost at least $200 million to make, is Apple Studios’ biggest production yet. The streaming service released Scorsese’s adaptation of David Grann’s best-selling book to 3,628 theaters, with plans to stream it on an as-yet-unannounced date on Apple TV+.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” debuted with $23 million, marking the 80-year-old director’s third-best debut behind “Shutter Island” ($41 million in 2010) and “The Departed” ($26.9 million in 2006). Although Scorsese’s latest opus, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro, will have a tough road to profitability, it’s a successful launch for the 206-minute twisted adult drama – the kind of film that beyond “Oppenheimer” has struggled at the box office in recent years.

“Killer of the Flower Moon” also marks the best debut for a movie from a streaming company. With rave reviews, an A-CinemaScore from audiences, and the support of a strong Oscar campaign, the film should continue to perform well in the long run.

Earlier this year, Apple said it plans to spend $1 billion a year making movies that will be released in theaters before they reach the streaming service. Apple is also behind Ridley Scott’s upcoming “Napoleon,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, in theaters November 22nd, and Matthew Vaughn’s “Argyle,” due February 2nd.

“If ‘agility’ is the new mantra of the theatrical movie business, then this is a significant success — it creates a viable option for companies,” said David A. Gross, who heads the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, of Launching “Killers of the Flower Moon’.

As different as “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” are, they are similar in their extended run times. A double feature of the two best movies of the weekend will run 6 hours and 14 minutes, not counting commercials and trailers.

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Killers of the Color Moon also attracted more young moviegoers than expected: 44% of ticket buyers were under the age of 30.

“The Exorcist: The Believer,” the horror sequel directed by David Gordon Green, placed third with $6.7 million in its third weekend. The film grossed $54.2 million domestically.

“PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” ranked No. 4 with $4.3 million in its fourth weekend. Fifth place went to Tim Burton’s remake of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which grossed $4.1 million 30 years after it first hit theaters.

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