Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 13/10/23 – 15/10/23

Taylor Swift continues to singlehandedly save the American economy, the power of Halloween compels people to see an Exorcist sequel, and Other Box Office News.

Normally, I take two weeks off around LFF season because the first Monday after I get back has me so thoroughly exhausted as to be in no state for BOR writing.  But something titanic has forced me up off the bench early and, no, I’m not talking about The Exorcist: Believer.  I am of course referring to Miss Taylor Swift, the biggest or second-biggest – a distinction which, frankly, we can settle for good if Mr. Bad Bunny decides to release his own concert film – pop star on the planet and undoubtedly the most famous woman alive right now.

I am not a Swiftie, so I say these things as a matter of objective fact.  Just look at the estimated $780 million her Eras Tour has already earned (on only the first leg); her ungodly amount of album sales this year alone for a format which is apparently dying (and with 1989 (Taylor’s Version) still to come); the maniacal tabloid frenzies still ongoing about her dating life; and now the fact that, in just three (or four it’s hard to tell with the surprise early release in select places) days, she has obliterated all concert film records which have ever stood.

READ MORE: Totally Deceased (Sue H. Cunningham) – Book Review

So, to start with tempering a bit of the hyperbole, TAYLOR SWIFT | THE ERAS TOUR – and, no, I don’t know why the formatting is like that – did not crack $100 mil domestic like most people who play the betting game expected and it did not manage to dethrone Joker from the pedestal of biggest October opening ever (that shitstain banked $96.2 million in 2019).  With things sufficiently tempered, I can now tell you that THE ERAS TOUR opened to $92.8 million, more than 2.6x the rest of the Top 10 combined.

If she withdrew the film from circulation entirely by, let’s say, 3PM on the Sunday, she would already have beaten out Justin Bieber: Never Say Never for the record of Biggest Concert Film of All-Time Domestic (the Biebs topped out at $73 mil Domestic back in 2011, a number Swift was just $3 mil away from by close-of-play Saturday).  Box Office Mojo have some of the International takings reported at press time and that number, $30.7 mil, is enough to make ERAS TOUR the Biggest Concert Film of All-Time Period (Never Say Never reached $99 mil Worldwide).  Regardless of whether this momentum holds up across the film’s planned four-week run, now that the more… passionate arms of her fanbase have gotten their fill and we see if normies want to keep going back, it’s still a hell of a statement.  The kind that forces all sides of the Swift divide to, in the famed words of Tom Breihan, respect motherfucking craft.

READ MORE: Beyond: Two Souls – Throwback 10

Anyways, that’s long enough in the two-month post-Summer dead-zone without mentioning a horror film, so let’s briefly touch on The Exorcist: Believer, the latest crap Exorcist sequel which takes the Halloween route of disregarding anything after the original and putting David Gordon Green behind the camera.  Yet despite every bit of available evidence broadcasting that it was gonna be terrible, a combination of fuck-all other options and those (not actually) tubular bells still managed to lure enough people to the cinema to post the best opening since The Nun II a full month earlier ($26.4 mil).  Of course, once they got to watch the results by the same director and screenwriter as Halloween Ends, they renounced the devil in droves with a “C” Cinemascore and 58% sophomore drop – which is still good enough for second place, though, cos Taylor Swift really is out here having to singlehandedly save all creative industries from financial ruin.

Yes, I am making a point of being the only Box Office Report to not include even a single Taylor Swift song title or lyric pun.  And that point is I have not listened to enough Taylor Swift to come up with one which hasn’t already been used by a dozen other outlets.  Tweet your best suggestions for me to nick (with credit of course), why not.  Here’s the Full List.

US Box Office Results: Friday 13th October 2023 – Sunday 15th October 2023


$92,804,678 / NEW

I am curious, not gonna lie.  Curious enough to pay £19.89 for a ticket?  Absolutely fucking not.  But curious enough that I’ll gladly double-fist this with Killers of the Flower Moon at the weekend if my Cineworld Unlimited card can get me in for free or at a discount.  Come back next week to see if that happens!

2] The Exorcist: Believer

$10,979,750 / $44,906,700

All I’m saying is that maybe we need to pass some kind of law which forcibly keeps David Gordon Green and Danny McBride (who’s credited for story on this) away from horror its iconic franchises.  It’d be for the greater good and, bonus, might even cause them to produce new Righteous Gemstones episodes faster since their attention wouldn’t always be split!  Get on it, Congress!

3] PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie

$6,887,287 / $49,774,003

If I do get into THE ERAS TOUR at the weekend, I plan to use this as my buffer movie between it and Killers of the Flower Moon because my cinemagoing experience operates on a higher level of consciousness than you mere normie mortals.  Almost guaranteed to be better than Trolls Band Together, at least.

4] Saw X

$5,679,448 / $41,408,568

Right before I went off on my London Film Festival sabbatical, I reported on the surprising (qualified) success of indie horror flick It Lives Inside, a film that Amy Walker had already seen for a few months but was stuck under embargo.  Well, that embargo finally lifted ahead of its UK release this weekend and she thought it was… alright.  Just kinda alright.

5] The Creator

$4,333,632 / $32,439,376

Word of mouth on this hasn’t been great anyway – it fell 55.6% last weekend after a very muted $14 mil start – but I can’t help feeling like it’s a film which might’ve benefitted from an actual press tour.  Y’know, with glamorous movie stars going around giving interviews and eating spicy chicken wings and generally hyping up something that otherwise can fall between the cracks, ultimately causing the studio to take another financial bath when it inevitably underperforms.  But sure, studios, continue to jerk around SAG-AFTRA over comparative pennies instead of agreeing to their very reasonable demands; that’s working out so well for you.

6] The Blind

$1,950,500 / $13,900,442

Usually when we do anniversary pieces here at Set The Tape, we pick stuff that we really like or find interesting / underappreciated.  But sometimes, for reasons known only to the writer who pitches it, we do an anniversary piece on something which just fucking sucks.  To wit: here’s Amy Walker marking a decade of Quantic Dream’s pretentious dumpster-fire, Beyond: Two Souls.

7] A Haunting in Venice

$1,947,772 / $38,889,728

I’ve not been the only person gallivanting around film festivals of late!  Nicholas Lay, as is their wont to do, has been extensively covering the 2023 Vancouver International Film Festival for us!  If you’ve missed any of his coverage, you can get up to speed here.

8] The Nun II

$1,622,236 / $90,557,759

Horror doesn’t just occur on a cinema or television screen, and nor does it have to be properly scary either!  We’re deep into Spook-tober and our resident bookworm Chris Haigh has gotten in on the action with a review of ghostly whodunnit Totally Deceased.

9] The Equalizer 3

$950,346 / $90,557,759

Feel like it says something that not a single film in the entire Top 10 has a lifetime Domestic total higher than what a Taylor Swift concert movie was able to make in just 72 hours.  And now I’ll let that tasty DISCOURSE meat sit as bait and wait for the Hot Takes and commission requests to come to me…

10] Dumb Money

$900,346 / $12,606,487

Please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good please let Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be good ple…

Dropped out: Hocus Pocus (30th Anniversary)

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