Martin Scorsese has recently made his opinions on the MCU abundantly clear, but it turns out the biggest threat to his newest film, Killers of the Flower Moon, wasn’t Spider-Man but Taylor Swift. According to Salon, the singer’s Eras Tour concert film destroyed Scorsese at the box office this weekend despite already being out for a week. The combined star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro proved to be no match for the worldwide phenomenon that T-Swift has become.
Not even the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in a film helmed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese was enough to beat Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour at the box office.
The three-and-a-half hour-long historical drama Killers of the Flower Moon managed to rake in a projected $23 million over its opening weekend—more than Scorsese’s last film with DiCaprio, 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street—good enough to earn the film the #2 spot for the week but not enough to beat Taylor Swift. Eras Tour has already grossed over $100 million domestically in the two weeks it’s been out and shows no signs of stopping.
Perhaps it’s a bit disingenuous to compare the two films—after all, Killers of the Flower Moon is a drama starring some of the most talented actors in Hollywood history, directed by one of the greatest directors of all time. Meanwhile, the Eras Tour film is literally just a filmed version of a Taylor Swift concert for the millions of Swifties not lucky enough to score tickets to the live show. It’s not exactly like comparing Goodfellas and The Godfather.
Killers of the Flower Moon managed to rake in a projected $23 million over its opening weekend, good enough to earn the film the #2 spot for the week but not enough to beat Taylor Swift.
A more accurate comparison would be comparing Goodfellas—Scorsese’s 1990 mafia masterpiece—to the Super Bowl. One is a straightforward presentation of a live event, and the other is an artistic expression of the perils of organized crime.
Still, comparisons are going to come—especially given cinephiles’ recent push to label any popular media as mere “entertainment” while holding up the work of Scorsese and others like him as “Cinema” with a capital “C.” In those terms, it’s easy to see the temptation in touting Taylor Swift as the destroyer of Scorcese’s latest work. In reality, it’s not quite the feud that fans make it out to be.
For one thing, the audience for Killers skews much older than the pre-teens, teens, and 20-somethings buying tickets for Eras. In addition, Scorsese’s latest has an audience that’s over 61 percent male presenting, while Taylor Swift unsurprisingly is drawing in mostly moviegoers who identify as female. In other words, the two audiences don’t really overlap.
Eras Tour has already grossed over $100 million domestically in the two weeks it’s been out and shows no signs of stopping.
That means that the kids going to see Taylor Swift belt out pop hits still probably wouldn’t have gone to see Killers of the Flower Moon if Eras didn’t exist. And let’s be honest, even if it was fair to do a straight match-up between Martin Scorsese and Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift still wins. The singer has gradually gone from one of many female pop stars gracing the radio in the new century to possibly the single biggest pop phenomenon in history.
As sacrilegious as it might sound, when future generations look back at history, Taylor Swift might be seen as a bigger deal than Michael Jackson and Madonna combined. The closest comparison to the rabid loyalty displayed by the Swifties—the adorable nickname for Taylor’s fanbase—would be Beatlemania in the early ’60s. That’s how big she’s become.
Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese—while still an amazing director—is nowhere near the household name in 2023 that Taylor Swift is. Sorry, Marty, but it’s Taylor’s world. The rest of us just live in it.