On opening night of Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” movie on October 13, the hum of fans singing along to the pop star’s music echoed through AMC’s Burbank 16 in Los Angeles. In the lobby, moviegoers in sparkling dresses, cowboy boots, and exclusive Swift concert merch waited to purchase exclusive popcorn buckets and matching cups, bonding with other women over outfits and the dates they saw the singer perform. Others posed together in front of cardboard setups of Swift and film posters.
Groups of joyous women dressed up for a movie as if it were a night would be a unique occurrence, except that something similar had happened here three months earlier, when the theater had been engulfed in a sea of pink as sold-out crowds flocked to showings of “Barbie.”
It’s safe to say 2023 has been the year of the girl at the box office. But more than that, “Barbie” Summer and Taylor Swift Fall became cultural touchstones that could help usher in a new era of films that celebrate what it means to be a girl. ‘Barbie’ and ‘The Eras Tour’ became must-attend events for their simple pleasures
Briana Hill, a partner and cochair at Pryor Cashman whose practice focuses on film and TV development and rights acquisition, told Business Insider she took nine 11-year-olds to see Judy Blume’s critically acclaimed adaptation of “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” this spring. The coming-of-age movie follows a young girl who’s eager to get her first period.
“That moment was so important to tell stories that empower girls,” Marmon said of the film, which stars Chloe Bailey as a Black Disney princess Ariel, who has sisters of all backgrounds. “Just seeing the seven sisters represent all the diversity across the world was really refreshing and really important for girls to see themselves.”
“It is still catered to 13-year-old boys, as it has been since the 1980s,” Bock said of Hollywood’s theatrical output. “They keep making the same movie over and over and over. And now we see that on a $200-million scale, where they just keep making Indiana Jones films and Transformers films.”
She thinks “Barbie” is just the first sign of a larger ripple effect to come. “‘Barbie’ isn’t going to open every door for me on its own. What it is doing is opening the door for another woman succeeding so she can hold the door open for me,” Russin-McFarland said.