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Forbes
Forbes
21 Oct 2023


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Taylor Swift attends the "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Concert ... [+] Movie World Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 on October 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for TAS)

Getty Images for TAS

At this point in her career, Taylor Swift is no stranger to success. She regularly tops the Billboard charts, her tours sell out instantly and any piece of content she releases, be it an Instagram post or a movie on Netflix NFLX , performs spectacularly well. With some level of success guaranteed, Swift is now trying new things and reaching further than ever before, and it's working brilliantly.

The superstar currently rules the box office with her concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. The movie shattered records in its debut weekend, bringing in just under $93 million in North America and $123 million globally. After just a few days, her latest concert capture is perhaps the top-grossing such film of all time, but it didn't mark the first time she had released such a project.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is just the latest in a long line of documentaries and concert films that the singer has released throughout the years. In fact, Swift has now dropped several projects that let fans in on the behind-the-scenes of her working life. She's previously doled out titles like The 1989 World Tour Live, Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour, Taylor Swift: City of Lover and Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. They all differ from one another in scope and scale, as well as what they cover, but performance is usually key.

All of those titles quickly became available via some of the most popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. Swift is one of many superstars who has been able to pull in multi-million dollar paydays with their films, which became must-sees for not only Swifties but anyone interested in pop culture.

It would have been incredibly easy for Swift to go the same route with Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. If she'd offered it to the top players in the business, they likely would have eagerly offered tens of millions, perhaps making it the costliest concert film of all time, at least in this realm. Swift decided to try something else this time around, and while it was a bit of a gamble, it worked out incredibly well for the Grammy winner.

Instead of taking the easy—and lucrative—route, Swift opted to release Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour in theaters. There was no promise that her fan base would show up, or even if they did, that it would make at least as much money as she'd earn from a straight sale to a streamer. But clearly, she made the wise business move, as Swift is earning much more from this coup than her tried-and-true plan.

Swift and her team reportedly earn a little under 60% of box office grosses from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. With the movie having already made more than $120 million, that's around $65 to $70 million going to the singer and her group. What specifically she'll take home isn't clear, but it's certainly more than the $10 million to $20 million that she might have collected from a streamer in a one-off payment.

It's worth noting also that Swift might still sell the title to someone like Apple AAPL or Netflix later on, once it's done in theaters. While she might not earn as much in the future because the movie has already been seen by millions, at that point, it's all just extra cash to add to her massive success.