Two things are really shaking up Hollywood these days: labor unions and Taylor Swift. Thursday morning Swift announced that she was entering the fall movie season by releasing a nearly three-hour film based on her blockbuster Eras Tour. The news sent mobs of fans to online ticket sites and fear down the spines of movie studios.
The film, titled Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, is scheduled for release on Friday, October 13, a date that had long been claimed by arguably the season’s biggest horror release, Universal and Blumhouse’s The Exorcist: Believer. However, hours after Swift’s movie began selling out shows across the country, that film’s producer Jason Blum himself took to X, formerly Twitter, quoting Swift and announcing he was moving the film’s release date. “Look what you made me do,” Blum posted. “The Exorcist: Believer moves to 10/6/23" and then he added the hashtag “#TaylorWins.”
The Exorcist now finds itself on a more competitive weekend and further away from the lucrative Halloween holiday. It’ll open against the star-studded GameStop stock movie Dumb Money, and another horror film called When Evil Lurks. It should still win the weekend, which it was all but guaranteed to do beforehand, but this year, Friday the 13th won’t belong to Jason Voorhees (or The Exorcist). It’ll belong to Taylor Swift. Plus, there are sure to be ramifications in weeks beyond too. Apple thought it had a free weekend on October 20 with Martin Scorsese’s drama Killers of the Flower Moon, for example. That’s no longer the case.
And while Blum and Universal are the first to make a move thanks to Swift’s movie, much of Hollywood could follow suit. Indiewire reports most executives had no idea a film version of maybe the biggest concert tour in history was coming so soon and spent a good portion of the day reacting to it. It’s being released by AMC, which deals with the studios often as one of the largest theater chains, but now a huge number of its own screens will be playing its own movie. What does that mean for everything else? Also, Swift’s film has a set ticket price of $19.89 for adults and $13.13 for children (both numbers the singer references frequently) which is odd because theaters, not distributors, are supposed to set ticket prices. However, in this case, the distributor is the theater.
The point is that what seemed like it was going to be a rather uneventful fall movie season is still that fall movie season, only now it’s Taylor’s Version.
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