In a movie match-up almost as unlikely as Barbie and Oppenheimer, Taylor Swift out-dance the legendary Martin Scorsese at the box office this weekend. The filmed version of Swift’s Eras Tour slid 67% for a second week but still pulled in $31 million from 3,855 locations to win the weekend box office by a wide margin over the director’s new historical drama.
The three-and-a-half-hour Killers of the Flower Moon debuted with $23 million, the third-best domestic opening for the acclaimed filmmaker and his stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The drama, based on David Grann’s bestselling book about the murders of members of the oil-rich Osage Nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s, cost $200 million and is the most significant production yet for Apple Studios. The company partnered with Paramount Pictures to distribute the film in 3,628 theaters and stream it on its not-yet-launched Apple TV+ platform.
With its A- CinemaScore and the backing of a vigorous Oscar campaign, it would be no surprise if the film winds up a major awards contender. That said, the slow start may indicate that audiences for the period drama haven’t entirely warmed to it. It also skews older and more males (61 percent), which could explain why it could not out-gross the juggernaut Swift concert film.
It isn’t the first time that the singer has beaten the acclaimed director with her film, with the 2015 release of her documentary X: The Movie securing a more muscular debut than Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and Gangs of New York. It will be interesting to see how the film performs when it moves to its more traditional theatrical release later this month.
The rest of the top five was as expected, with a steady PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie settling in with another $54.2 million and The Exorcist: Believer bringing in $5.6 million to round out the pack.
The romantic comedy Love, Simon, and the animated family film Frozen 2 completed the top ten. The former earned a respectable $19.3 million, and the latter grossed $13.6 million. The lone new entry in the top 10, The Catch, took in $3.6 million to notch up a fourth-place finish. For more on the weekend’s box office results, check out Forbes Daily. Then subscribe to get the day’s best stories, exclusive reporting, and essential analysis in your inbox every weekday. Click here to start your free trial today.