Here’s Why ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Likely Won’t Be Eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar

With presales passing $35 million in the first 24 hours of availability, the theatrical release of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is all but certain to be one of the biggest movies in what remains of 2023. However, even the power of Taylor Swift won’t be enough to put the film in contention as this year’s Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.

Even if it earns rave reviews, and most music critics will argue that the live show itself is pretty spectacular, Academy regulations will likely render it ineligible. Simply put, Section II, B states that “Works that are essentially promotional or instructional are not eligible, nor are works that are essentially unfiltered records of performances.” So if the film is simply a 165-minute filmed approximation of seeing the singer live on stage, well, it’ll have to settle for everything except Academy consideration in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Swift announced the film’s theatrical release, backed by AMC Theatres, Thursday with a teaser clip of scenes filmed from the first few nights of her Los Angeles stop of the Eras Tour. Presales for the film climbed to the highest advance sales revenue — $26 million — in AMC’s 103-year history, topping the $16.9 million snagged by “Spider-Man: No Way Home” presales in 2021. Hours after the announcement of the concert doc, Universal and Blumhouse’s “The Exorcist: Believer” moved its release date ahead one week to Oct. 6 so as not to compete with “The Eras Tour” movie.

Swift, who has directed 10 of her 60-plus music videos, fell short of a 2022 Oscar nomination for her live-action short film “All Too Well: The Short Film” starring Sadie Sink, Dylan O’Brien and Swift, herself. The short film, set to the extended version of Swift’s most popular ballad, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” met qualifications for a shortlist nomination, but it did not make the cut of 15 films narrowed down from 81.

Swift screened the short film at the Toronto Film Festival in 2022, and she won the Moon Person for Best Direction and for Video of the Year at the 2022 MTV VMAs. During her acceptance for the Video of the Year award, Swift dropped the news that she would release her tenth studio album, “Midnights” October 21, 2022.

After the release of “Midnights,” Swift announced the Eras tour, which encompasses her entire musical catalogue (except for her self-titled debut album) in a three-plus hour show that features songs from each of her albums, which have expanded into eras of her career. Swift began the international leg of the Eras tour in Mexico City Aug. 24, just two weeks after she wrapped the first part of the U.S. leg in Los Angeles where she announced the upcoming release of her “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” rerecord.

Ticket prices for “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” nod to her fifth studio album, which officially becomes hers on Oct. 27, at $19.89 for adults. Her favorite, lucky and birthday No. 13 factors into the children and seniors ticket prices: $13.13.

This marks Swift’s second film project that has generated Oscars buzz. The musician has penned a feature film-length script that will eventually be produced by Searchlight Pictures. Sure to feature a bejewled cast, only time will tell when the film enters production and Swift embarks on her third attempt to get an Oscar.

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