It’s Taylor Swift’s world – we’re just living in it.
From concert T-shirts to NFL tickets, Ms Swift has established herself as an economic phenomenon.
And the world premiere of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Wednesday in Los Angeles is no different, complete with not only a red carpet, but road blocks too.
So far the event has been shrouded in secrecy, with select fans receiving invitation-only tickets for opening night, via Spotify.
The venue – a 14-screen cinema in an upmarket shopping mall in Hollywood – was completely closed down to accommodate the throngs of fans.
With hours to go, it has still not been confirmed whether Ms Swift will be in attendance, although given the hype surrounding the night, it would be remarkable if the leading lady was a no-show.
The movie, which was filmed over the course of three concerts in Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium in August, has already broken records – earning over $100m (£81.2m) in advance global ticket sales, and industry analysts expect the movie to reach new box office heights, even though it will have fewer showings.
Unlike normal film screenings, the concert film will only be in theatres on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Why?
Because Team Swift only wants packed crowds to experience the film- almost as if it’s a real concert. They don’t want half empty theatres on a lonely weekday afternoon.
It’s classic Taylor all the way – even down to the ticket prices.
Ms Swift is known for leaving “Easter Eggs,” little clues that only her fans would recognize. And the movie ticket prices are no exception. Tickets, before tax, are $19.89 for adults- a nod to her album title and the year she was born, and $13.13 for children- 13 famously being her lucky number.
“She represents the new mega star,” says Sanjay Sharma, a business professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “She’s not only a successful artist with a huge global following, she’s also a very smart businesswoman.”
So much so that the economic juggernaut that rolls into town when Taylor Swift is performing has its own name: “Taylornomics”.
Mr Sharma estimates that Ms Swift’s six performances in Los Angeles added 1-2% to the economy.
That’s because Taylor Swift tourists are not just paying for a concert ticket. There are airplanes, hotel rooms, meals out, and outfits to buy. Local businesses are leaning into the effect by hosting Taylor targeted events with pop up bars and karaoke nights, to name a few.
But the success of the tour and film is largely down to her music and an intensely loyal fan base.
“She’s got an audience of people who didn’t get tickets. And then she’s got an audience of people who did get tickets and want to live it over again,” said Elizabeth Scala, who teaches a college course on Ms Swift at the University of Texas at Austin. “And I think that’s really who’s going to see the film. I don’t really think anybody’s going out of curiosity to see the film.”
The film – which runs for almost three hours – could easily become the biggest grossing movie of 2023. Even more than Barbie, which has been the number one movie of the year.
As Taylor’s fans know all too well, Taylormania could go on forever.