Anyone who couldn’t procure tickets for Taylor Swift’s record-breaking stadium tour in the U.S. may be about to have their wounded feelings assuaged, a little — and everyone who did can get primed for some instant nostalgia. A filmed rendering, “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour,” will hit movie theaters nationwide this fall, with opening day set for Friday the (of course) 13th of October.
It’s far from the kind of one- or two-night special engagement that music fans have become used to with filmed concert experiences in cinemas. AMC Theatres is promising that the film will play at every one of its U.S. locations at least four times a day on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through its initial engagement, with many of the chain’s Imax and Dolby Cinema locations locked in to ensure the singer remains larger than life on its premium screens. The film will also play on Cinemark and Regal screens in the U.S., with other theaters and chains expected to be added.
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“The Eras Tour has been the most meaningful, electric experience of my life so far and I’m overjoyed to tell you that it’ll be coming to the big screen soon,” Swift posted on her social media, alongside a trailer for the film. “Starting Oct 13th you’ll be able to experience the concert film in theaters in North America! Tickets are on sale now at amctheatres.com. Eras attire, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing encouraged… 1, 2, 3 LGB!!!! (iykyk).”
Tickets are now on sale at AMCTheatres.com, the Cinemark site and Fandango. Prices are as numerically loaded as anything in Swift’s world: $19.89 for adults (plus tax), $13.13 for children and seniors, on standard screens. (Up-charges will kick in, as always, for Imax and Dolby Cinema showings.)
Are they ready for it — exhibitors, that is, for possible instant swarming from millions of Swifties? The prospect of ticketing systems breaking down is not something film exhibitors have traditionally publicly fretted about, but desperate fandoms call for desperate measures. And so AMC is saying that preventive measures have already been taken to avoid any meltdowns of the sort that made the on-sales for the actual tour a nightmare for many fans… while cautioning that it still may not be as quick or easy an experience as buying a ticket for, say, “Barbie.”
“In anticipation of this announcement,” the company said in a statement, “AMC has upgraded its website and ticketing engines to handle more than five times the largest influx of ticket-buying traffic the company has ever experienced before. But AMC is also aware that no ticketing system in history seems to have been able to accommodate the soaring demand from Taylor Swift fans when tickets are first placed on sale. Guests wanting to be the first to buy their tickets online may experience delays, longer-than-usual ticket-purchase waiting-room times and possible outages. AMC is committed to ensuring any delays or outages are addressed as quickly as possible.”
Other special factors will apply, like no passes, no use of AMC A-List Stubs memberships, and no refunds. The reason for the latter rule is to discourage would-be resellers from buying up loads of tickets, then asking for their money back en masse if they’re unable to unload them.
Although AMC is a key partner, the concert film isn’t exclusive to the chain’s screens. For the first time, AMC is acting as distributor as well as exhibitor, and the company will be making the presentation available to unaffiliated theaters, in what AMC describes as “the inaugural step of a new line of business for AMC Entertainment.” So far, those jumping on board to show the film include Cinemark and Regal in the U.S., Cineplex in Canada and Cinepolis in Mexico. AMC saying it expects to sign other theaters up prior to October. Variance Films is helping with the bookings in non-AMC locations.
The announcement Thursday solved the mystery of just what the intent was of having an extra battery of cameras on hand for the first three nights of Swift’s six-night stand at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium in August. Speculation that the star was shooting with the big screen in mind was rampant, given the obvious impact that she could make on the national box-office with this kind of event. But Swift has also worked with several streamers in the past — most notably, Netflix gots lots of attention and sign-ups for running the “Reputation” tour concert film as a New Year’s Eve special, and she’s done projects with Disney+ (“The Long Pond Sessions”) and Amazon as well — so the idea of the star reconnecting with one of those services was hard to rule out when those extra cameras were first spotted in L.A.
No mention has been made of overseas engagements, which makes sense, since the Eras Tour won’t arrive in the flesh outside of the Americas until 2024. Swift will spend most of next year touring Europe, Japan, Australia and other territories. She is due to come back to the U.S. for a very short engagement to end the world tour in the fall of next year, but her camp presumably believes there won’t be a huge rush among the fans who managed to land tickets for those shows just because they’re now going to have a chance to see a movie version ahead of time. Of course, many fans around the world have already had solid glimpses of her three-and-a-half-hour set via unauthorized fan livestreams, but those kind of video spoilers only served to drive resale prices up, not down, as the U.S. tour went along.
The director of the film is Sam Wrench, whose previous work with top musicians includes the live Imax concert presentation Brandi Carlile did in 2022 (“In the Canyon Haze Live”), “Billie Eilish Live at the O2,” “Lizzo: Live in Concert” and “BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage.”
On the AMC ticketing site, the running time is listed as 2 hours and 45 minutes, slightly shorter than a set length that ran about 3 hours and 15 minutes in stadiums the past six months. Some of that condensation will likely be due to the elimination of costume and set changes, as word has it that no songs have been cut from the setlist for the film. A “secret songs” mini-set will be included in the film; as for a list of possible candidates for that wild card slot in the movie, on the nights when extra cameras were filming in L.A., the surprise solo choices included “I Can See You,” “Maroon,” “Our Song,” “You Are in Love,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts” and “You’re on Your Own, Kid.”
Fans who immediately followed Swift’s lead on social media to buy seats at the AMC website were herded into a short queue that was showing up for many as a wait of about 15 minutes, while there was no wait at Fandango, where tickets are also on sale.
Although there was no official word about how long the film might be in theaters, tickets are being sold for shows through Nov. 4 — all of them on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of showtimes also being available for Halloween night, a Tuesday.
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