The year 2023 is emerging as the year when blonde women came to the rescue of the movie industry. Taylor Swift concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” provided a much-needed boost to the fall season following the summer help from “Barbie” to offset high-profile film flops.
While theater owners are understandably excited about audiences filling seats (and even dancing in front of them, following “Eras” etiquette), the highs generated by these standouts are not enough to fulfill what theaters truly need: a consistent stream of hits. So, while this fall harvest is undoubtedly welcomed, a Swift solution is unlikely to be a lasting one.
Swift’s Blockbuster Success
The advance sales for “The Eras Tour” left little doubt that it would be a major success. AMC, a theater chain, estimates that it collected around $96 million in domestic release, shattering the overall record for any concert film in its first three days in theaters. Globally, the film grossed over $30 million, with $13 million coming from Imax screens – numbers usually reserved for Hollywood blockbusters.
Credit goes to theaters for getting creative, with the Swift invasion and Beyoncé’s upcoming Renaissance Tour version, taking matters into their own hands at a time when studios have struggled to deliver attractions that can overcome streaming and pandemic challenges.
The Sugar Rush Effect
However, these titles seem like a sugar rush, providing short-lived benefits without addressing the underlying problems afflicting the theatrical business.
Hope in the Form of Captain Marvel
The next blonde hero who might play a more pivotal role is Brie Larson, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. Her sequel, “The Marvels,” is set to hit theaters on November 10. After Disney’s recent box office disappointments, a big-budgeted Marvel movie buoying the fall season would be a welcome return to better days.
Even a Marvel movie doesn’t guarantee success. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” had a lukewarm start to Marvel’s next phase of movies, but the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a box-office success, standing out in an otherwise uneven year.
Uncertainties in the Film Industry
Studios have not helped their cause by letting the writers’ and actors’ guild strikes (the former settled, the latter still in progress) drag on, forcing them to juggle release schedules to avoid theatrical deserts next spring. Although studios will eventually catch up, the film industry has faced a period of uncertainty, with no assurance of recouping losses given the abundance of streaming content.
In conclusion, while “Barbie” and “The Eras Tour” have ignited excitement, they remind us that Hollywood can’t just “shake it off” when faced with such a monumental challenge.