How is the concert film changing the movie-going experience?

With recent concert films such as the Eras Tour Movie, what kind of experience can fans expect when they go to the theatre?

Mayumi Izumi (she/her) // Contributor
Tara Asadi (they/them) // Illustrator

The Eras Tour movie appeared to engage audiences from the opening scene to the closing two hours and 49 minutes later. It began with a clock counting down the minutes for the concert, building the excitement, and quickly moved to a pink-and-purple butterfly-like extravaganza of dancers and Swift herself. 

Seeing the film in theatres was a less expensive alternative to attending her concert. Her movie saved Swifties’ money, costing them $19.89 (which is also the year she was born — coincidence?) at Cineplex Cinemas. A much more affordable experience compared to her Vancouver show in December 2024 which ranges from $2,026 to $24,144 USD for two tickets. Ticket prices reported on Curiosity Vancouver for Dec. 6, 7 and 8, 2024 from different websites all came in above $1,000 CAD.

As seen on TikTok, Swifties definitely got into some antics on opening weekend. From standing at the front of the theatre and dancing, to singing loudly during the movie. Audiences might have been more forgiving during these particular screenings though, especially since Swift herself encouraged her fans to enjoy the film as much as they would her concert. While theatre etiquette usually consists of being courteous to other movie patrons and turning off your cell phone before the movie starts, fans were encouraged to film and take photos during the film. 

Events at some screenings of The Eras Tour Movie have sparked an online debate about what is acceptable at concert film screenings, and if the expectations should be different from more traditional fare. However, it seems that attendees during the later weeks were not as spirited as the ones seen on TikTok, and generally followed theatre etiquette.

The Eras Tour comprises 17 years of music through Swift’s last 10 albums, from her debut to her most recent, Midnights. Costume changes were full of sparkles, sequins and Louboutin boots. Even her microphone had bling. Besides the few times that Swift addresses the audience, there is no speaking during the film. She sings favourites like “Shake It Off,” “Delicate” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The movie featured Swift’s musical hits, the set decor and lighted stage and effects were visually stunning.

In contrast, films like Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012), Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017) and Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (2020) are all documentaries that take viewers behind the scenes of concert tours. They showcase the families of the artists, as well as the growing years before they became famous. The documentaries highlight the best of their respective performers, but also the long hours, the sheer exhaustion and the determination necessary to perform. 

Next time you are about to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for concert tickets, consider watching the movie in theatres. The Eras Tour matinee was an affordable way to spend a weekend afternoon that appeared to capture Vancouver audience’s attention, saving them a lot of money while still being able to participate in an alternative concert experience.

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