The Taylor Swift and Beyoncé concerts helped AMC theaters a lot – The A.V. Club

If Tom Cruise was the savior of cinema in 2022, the mavericks of 2023 were without a doubt Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. We already knew that their concert movies—Swift’s in particular—made a big splash at the box office. But AMC CEO Adam Aron confirmed that amid a tough year for movies due to the dual actors and writers strikes, the two music icons basically kept the theatrical business alive. In fact, Aron reported that the films represented “one ninth” of fourth-quarter domestic industry-wide box office (per Deadline).
“What is particularly noteworthy is how much AMC benefited from our trailblazing industry leading efforts with our highly successful distribution of two concert movies Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour and Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé,” Aron said in a press release. “Literally, all of that increase in AMC’s Revenue and EBITDA is attributable to our having shown these two movies in our theaters in the U.S. and internationally.”
Aron was fawning in his obsequiousness to the two concert film messiahs. “This is a stunning result given that neither of these films were on anyone’s drawing board until mid-year, and that they were the first movies ever distributed by AMC in our entire 103-year history,” he boasted. “To that end, our praise for Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles Carter has no limit, and we offer our boundless thanks to these two world class artists for entrusting AMC to collaborate with them as to the theatrical exhibition of their two masterpiece creations.”
Another day, another entertainment industry professional falling over themselves to praise Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, right? But the two movies did mark a new frontier given that both singers skipped the studios and streamers and partnered with the theater chain directly to distribute their films. This move gave the artists a lot more power (and undoubtedly money; Swift was able to make separate deals for theatrical and streaming, sending the Eras Tour film to Disney+ after a healthy run at the cinema).
It represents an intentional industry pivot back to theatrical, eschewing the straight-to-streaming model of the last several years that deprioritized putting cinema in the cinema. And one of the ways this theatrical revival is manifesting is through event cinema: folks dressed up and danced for Swift and Beyoncé’s shows, much like they showed up in costume for Barbenheimer. Studios and theaters will definitely be on the lookout to recreate these types of one-of-a-kind experiences in the future.

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