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Homelifearts-and-entertainmentTaylor Swift conquers N.America box office with concert film

Taylor Swift conquers N.America box office with concert film

LOS ANGELES – After her sold-out stadium tour, pop superstar Taylor Swift filled movie theaters with screaming fans as her concert film took in an estimated $96 million in its opening weekend in North America, smashing records in the category.

“This is a sensational domestic opening,” said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research.

While ticket sales for “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” — which features scenes from three concerts — were below some estimates for the Friday-through-Sunday period, they were still “giant numbers” that dwarfed other concert films, Gross said.

Up to now, he noted, the biggest domestic concert films were 2011’s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which finished its run with total earnings of $73 million, and 2009’s “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” at $72.1 million.

Swift surpassed those titles in three days, making this the biggest box office weekend since this summer’s simultaneous releases of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

The movie, produced with unusual speed, was released with some special Swiftian touches. AMC Theaters, which is distributing it, broke with standard practice and encouraged filmgoers to dance, sing, whip out cell phones and generally act like they were at a real concert, making for what one critic called a “delirious, dizzying celebration of Swift-mania.”

Far, far, far behind in second place for the weekend was Blumhouse and Universal’s scary sequel “Exorcist: Believer,” with estimated ticket sales of $11 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported. Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd star in the horror flick, 50 years after the 1973 original.

In third was Paramount’s family-friendly animation “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” at $7 million. The Paw pups are voiced by Taraji P. Henson, Chris Rock, Serena Williams and McKenna Grace.

Fourth place went to Lionsgate’s blood-soaked “Saw X,” with $5.7 million in ticket sales. The latest in the “Saw” series, with Tobin Bell as the frightening Jigsaw, has received positive reviews.

And in fifth was 20th Century’s sci-fi film “The Creator,” at $4.3 million. It has John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe and Allison Janney fighting a war against artificial intelligence.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“A Haunting in Venice” ($2.1 million)

“The Blind” ($2 million)

“The Nun II” ($1.6 million)

“The Equalizer 3” ($960,000)

“Dumb Money” ($920,000)

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