This summer, Taylor Swift launched the 'Eras' tour, and it became the biggest form of entertainment across the United States of America, grossing over $1.4 billion in sales, with a ceiling just as high overseas.

Aside from the massive amounts of money, there were friendship bracelets, celebrity sightings, acoustic sets, and people standing in merch lines for hours.

And in Los Angeles, there was a film crew working on something pretty special, a Taylor Swift 'Eras' Tour Movie that will hit AMC theaters on October 13th of this year.

And it's set to break massive records, possibly becoming one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, and possibly resetting the indie marketplace.

Let's talk about how that will happen.

Taylor Swift: Movie Star

Taylor Swift: Movie Star

Getty Images

Taylor Swift's concert was the hottest ticket in town all summer, with the resale market shifting tickets into the thousands of dollars. The crowds were joyous and fervent, with people lining up just to be outside the stadium, unable to get in.

And somewhere in this, Swift's parents had an idea - how do we bring this concert to the people outside. The people who can't pay hundreds if not thousands a ticket.

As reported in the Puck Newsletter, Swifts parents came up with the idea for a movie, and brought cameras to Los Angeles to roll through her dates her in Hollywood.

They brought on director Sam Wrench, who directed the Lizzo and Billie Eilish concert movies and footed the production bill themselves, making this a true indie.

The price for the endeavor is estimated between ten and $20 million. It was all paid out of Taylor's pocket, so completely financed away from the studios.

There's a shot for it to become one of the biggest movies of the year.

Taylor Swift: Independent Producer


So, with the money and movie completely secured out of pocket, how does Taylor Swift release a movie?

It would be so easy for her to go to any studio in town to get this movie out in theaters, but Taylor Swift has a better brand than any of them.

Much like many other independent producers, she realized bringing a studio in was just cutting out a lot of money on marketing - and who can market better than someone with close to a billion followers on social media?

Well, given the power of her name, her parents (who are also her business mangers) were able to get on the phone with Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC, and cut a deal with him themselves.

The deal, according sources provided to Puck News, provides 43% goes to AMC and 57% of the gross goes to the Swifts.

That means AMC has an exclusive deal to show the 'Eras' movie.

But will it sell?

Taylor Swift: Box Office Queen

The Hollywood Reporter

Of course it will sell! we are in the first days of tickets being released the film has broken theater records. AMC has said that the movie “shattered records for single-day advance ticket sales revenue,” with $26 million of tickets sold on Thursday alone.

These tickets are competitively priced at $19.89 for adult ticket price. Which is far less than it cost to see the concert live, but can deliver a similar atmosphere in a theater full of Swifties.

Fandango has said that the movie ranks top 10 all-time best first-day pre-sellers.

“Taylor Swift is giving moviegoing fans and the entire industry the ultimate gift by bringing Taylor Swift Eras Tourconcert filmto the big screen,” said Jerramy Hainline, SVP at Fandango Ticketing.

the film is reported to be around three hours long and got AMC to commit to showing it at least four times a day on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through early November.

And that doesn't even cover the streaming rights.

Taylor Swift: Streaming Queen

Michael Buckner for Variety

The streaming rights are currently still for sale. Meaning Swift can capitalize all she wants on the box office and then sell to a streamer for an incredibly high amount.

Right now, Swift has movies on Netflix and Disney and could start an incredible bidding war for this movie.

What Can Indie Filmmakers Learn From Taylor Swift?

Indie filmmakers can learn several valuable lessons from Taylor Swift's career and approach to her craft.

This entire tour and movie have been incredible examples of "do it yourself" gumption and know-how. Ands it shows if you can make a popular product, you can control the market.

You may not be as big as Taylor, but you can do this stuff at your own scale.

Here's some other lessons I took from this movie and tour:

  • Authenticity and Personal Branding:
    • Taylor Swift has built a strong personal brand by staying true to herself and her artistic vision. Indie filmmakers can similarly focus on telling stories that resonate with their own experiences and values, creating a unique and authentic voice in their work.
  • Creative Control:
    • Swift emphasized the importance of creative control over her music and image. Indie filmmakers can strive for creative autonomy, ensuring that their vision remains intact throughout the filmmaking process. In the indie space, you call the shots, so maintain that control and follow your vision.
  • Storytelling:
    • Swift is known for her storytelling abilities in her songwriting. Indie filmmakers should prioritize strong storytelling in their films, as compelling narratives can engage and resonate with audiences on a deep level. Connect with people on that level and you will find success.
  • Audience Engagement:
    • Swift has one of the most dedicated and engaged fan bases across all of music. Indie filmmakers can learn the value of connecting with their audience through social media, fan interactions, and creative marketing campaigns. The more you get the audience to engage, the more you can expect them to show up when it comes time to put something in the box office.

So, will this all reset the indie market? I'm not sure about that. but I could see the draw to make things outside the studio system and to negotiate directly with theaters for distribution.

Especially if you can get a star or can show marketing power and potential for receipts.

I am aware most indies will not be able to have a Tatylor Swift-sized star in them, but I do think the idea of doing it yourself and then taking it to distribution places and securing weeks and showtimes, is not a bad idea, especially if you can do it to your scale.

Let me know what you think in the comments.