Weekend Box Office: Swift wins while Scorsese finishes strong in second

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Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour won her second weekend in theaters while Killers of the Flower Moon saw a solid $23 million debut.

This weekend saw the celebrity death match battle between two icons. In one corner is an icon of the stage with the filmed version of her tour which is the highest grossing music tour of all time. In the other corner is an icon of cinema who has created some of the greatest films ever made. So who would reign supreme? Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour saw a 67% decline for a still respectable $31 million in her second weekend of release to claim first place, while Martin Scorsese’s three and a half hour epic Killers of the Flower Moon took in a solid $23 million for a second place bow. Those numbers fall pretty much in line with where we saw them in our Thursday predictions.

A lot of people have said the length of Scorsese’s latest is a factor in deciding whether to see it in theaters or wait until it hits streaming, but The Eras Tour isn’t much shorter, clocking in at 169 minutes vs Flower Moon’s 206 minutes. Of course watching a concert on the big screen probably does go by faster than a 1920’s set western crime drama. Theater chain AMC seems to have struck gold with their release of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. With Swift handling the budget to produce the film, estimated to be between $10-$20 million, AMC took over distribution and will split 57% of the gross revenue with Swift while the remaining gross will be split amongst the theaters that showed the film, which if I am reading it correctly will also add more money into AMC’s ledger. This massive hit was all orchestrated outside of the traditional studio system, something that Christopher Nolan both praised, and gave warning to.

For Killers of the Flower Moon, the film amassed a solid $23 million. Which falls ahead of such Scorsese/ DiCaprio team ups as Gangs of New York ($9.1 million opening, $77.8 million domestic total), The Aviator ($9.4 million opening, $102.6 million domestic total) and The Wolf of Wall Street ($18.3 million opening, $116.9 million domestic total) but misses the mark of their Best Picture winning The Departed ($26.8 million opening, $132.3 million domestic total) and the excellent Shutter Island ($41 million opening, $128 million domestic total). It does however mark the best opening ever for a Scorsese/ DeNiro collaboration as their previous best was the $10.2 million earned by 1991’s Cape Fear (which would actually be about $23 million in 2023 dollars!) If this film was released by a major studio, with its $200 million budget before marketing, this opening would be cause for alarm. But this is an Apple film and with this being their first ever foray into wide theatrical distribution (with the assist by Paramount), the company has said they see this release as an advertisement for their Apple+ streaming service where Killers will be playing shortly (no release date has yet been announced for its streaming premiere).

The film is proving to be a bit divisive amongst fans with some proclaiming it a masterpiece (including our own Chris Bumbray who gave it a rare 10/10 score) while others felt the three and a half hour run time was a bit excessive. I fall right in the middle. While I don’t consider it to be a perfect film, I admit my eyes were glued to the screen for every second and ultimately I left the theater feeling like I had just seen an excellent film. Many people expect Awards Season to come down to this film and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. For my money, Oppenheimer should be the clear victor. Where as Killers of the Flower Moon is an excellent film which will likely see some hardware heading to the star making performance of Lily Gladstone, Oppenheimer was a genre defining masterpiece (and if I am being honest, if it comes down to Lily Gladstone vs Emily Blunt for the Oscar, I personally found Blunt’s performance to be the better of the two, but can’t deny that Gladstone was also excellent). Of course that is just my opinion and whether you agree or disagree, please let us know in the comments section.

With those two films accounting for the majority of the box office dollars earned this weekend, there were actually other films still in theaters such as The Exorcist: Believer that is playing solidly to the October crowd who like seeing horror films in the run up to Halloween with another $5.6 million added to its $54.2 million domestic total while families enjoy spending time with the cute talking puppies of Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie which saw an additional $4.4 million added to its $56 million domestic take. 

Fifth place belongs to the 30th anniversary re-release of the classic Christmas film The Nightmare Before Christmas with $4.1 million added to its domestic lifetime gross of $82.9 million while the tagline “if it’s Halloween, it must be Saw” has seen a resurgence this year with Saw X taking in another $3.5 million despite being available on PVOD just four short weeks after its release. 

The bottom part of the chart is filled in with your holdover titles such as The Creator with an additional $2.6 million added to its $36.7 million domestic take with A Haunting in Venice taking in $1.1 million followed by the faith based film The Blind holding up well with another $1 million. Coming between those titles is the Indian language release of Leo: Bloody Sweet which pulled in $2.1 million from its 720 screens. 

Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, let us know what you saw (and how you liked it) in the comments and don’t forget to take our weekly poll where we ask: What is your Favorite Martin Scorsese Film? 

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-swift-wins-while-scorsese-finishes-strong-in-second/

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