(New York) She has not yet completed her triumphant tour when Taylor Swift is already releasing, in theaters, a documentary on her concerts, which could shake up a convalescent film industry, challenge the hegemony of the studios and consecrate her economic empire.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, the feature film, has already broken the record for pre-sales in the United States in one day, at the end of August, with 37 million dollars in revenue.
It could exceed 100 million in its first weekend of operation, from October 13 to 15, according to Jeff Bock, of the specialist firm Exhibitor Relations.
“It’s possible that it will be the biggest film of the fall […] which is quite incredible,” explains the analyst, even if the filmed concert will only be visible in the United States, for the moment.
A sign that the studios fear this release, they have postponed the arrival in theaters of several films initially scheduled for the same weekend or on close dates, in particular The Exorcist: Believer.
The operation already promises to be lucrative for the thirty-year-old, whose feature film only cost $10 to $20 million, according to the Puck information site.
According to the specialist site Billboard, it will share 57% of the proceeds from ticket sales with the AMC cinema chain, a proportion equivalent to that which the studios usually receive.
“No artist is as powerful today,” says Ralph Jaccodine, professor at Berklee Music University.
“Eras” is first of all a monster tour which currently has 146 dates.
According to the professional live arts magazine Pollstar, each concert generates $13 million in revenue, which would bring the total to around $1.9 billion.
Never has an artist or group crossed the symbolic billion-dollar threshold.
“Tours where people have to pay $700 to $800 for a seat at the back of the stadium is unheard of,” says Ralph Jaccodine.
“She is very daring in terms of strategy,” says Carolyn Sloane, professor of economics at the University of Chicago. “She has a lot to lose, […], but she can afford to take risks. »
“I think artists should own their work,” she explained in 2019, after trying to buy back the tapes, without success.
“She’s an artist’s rights activist,” considers Ralph Jaccodine. “She built her own brand […] and each time she became more successful, she took more and more control. »
Taylor Swift is closer every day to becoming the first billionaire singer (her fortune is estimated by Forbes at $740 million) thanks to her music alone.
Before her, Prince, George Michael, Jay-Z and Kanye West had already fought to recover their recordings, but none had thought of producing a new version.
“She has a brilliant economic strategy, and she goes where other artists have never ventured,” insists Carolyn Sloane.
Taylor Swift did not hesitate to make an event of the release of each of her old re-recorded albums, at the risk of boring the audience.
A winning bet which allowed him to consolidate the youngest part of his audience, who had not known the periods of Fearless or Speak Now, among his first opuses.
In the same way, Eras, the film, “will give access to his concert to people who were unable to buy a ticket,” describes Ralph Jaccodine.
Other musicians and singers have already released concert or tour films in theaters, but “we have never seen in theaters the film of an artist at the height of his popularity like what we will experience with Swift in October,” anticipates Jeff Bock.