Are Recent Concert Movies Inducing a New Era in Movie Theaters?
The triumph of concert films such as Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour and the documentary Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, which raked in $21 million during its opening weekend, certainly marks the genesis of a new phase, says Travis Knox, an associate professor at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
“Not much else is as relatively cheap to produce and market but comes with a guaranteed wealth of free publicity,” he explained to Yahoo Entertainment. “Shows like Swift and Beyoncé are no-brainers.”
Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events, noted that success leads to more success in the entertainment industry. “Hollywood is a copycat industry. It always has been. When people see that there’s a good thing going, they’re going to try to replicate it,” he said.
Swift’s The Eras Tour concert film took the cinema world by storm, earning a blockbuster $92.8 million in the U.S on its opening weekend, a figure that surpassed all previous concert films.
Beyoncé’s concert film also made strides. The documentary captured the six-month “Renaissance World Tour” and premiered with ticket sales reaching $21.8 million in North America in its first three days of release.
Concert movies are not a new concept. In November, pop supergroup BTS released their final concert, which earned over $53 million worldwide in box office receipts. The group aimed to expand their music’s accessibility beyond geographical limitations and premium concert ticket pricing.
Tickets to Swift’s “Eras Tour” concerts in the U.S. ranged from $49 to $449, while the concert movie costs were much more affordable – $19.89 for adults, $13.13 for kids and seniors. Similarly, Beyoncé’s live tour tickets ranged from $62 to about $1,000, while her concert documentary cost roughly $22 for a movie ticket.
While a home viewing experience will never truly replicate the thrill of a live show, concert movies offer an exciting way for fervent fans to re-experience extraordinary performances. By catering to a broader audience, they bring the joy of a live concert closer to the masses.
“People want to have a different kind of experience. With a concert [film], every seat is a front-row seat,” Nutt pointed out. The resurgence of concert movies is aligned with the evolving tastes and interests of moviegoers, offering a whole new experience at the theatre.
“I do think this is going to catch on,” Nutt mused, indicating that the current concert movie revival is poised to transform the entertainment industry. However, as Knox pointed out, concert movies may face an oversaturation and potential decline once they start to “underperform.”
Nevertheless, the recent surge in concert movies seems to have brought an exciting new trend and experience for film enthusiasts, with even bigger acts expected to join the bandwagon.