EXCLUSIVE: ‘Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour’ Film Seeking Release Date in China

Negotiations are under way to secure a December or more likely an early January release for “Taylor Swift: “The Eras Tour” movie in mainland China cinemas.

The film, which has grossed some $250 million worldwide since debuting on Oct. 13, is currently being reviewed by Chinese authorities. Separate bodies must approve the import of foreign movies and the content all films destined for public release.

Alibaba Pictures, part of the digital media and entertainment division of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is among the companies understood to be piloting the import and distribution.

Wanda Films, which was previously the majority owner of AMC Theaters, “The Eras Tour’s” North American distributor, is understood to be on board as a theatrical exhibition partner. While AMC and Wanda have untangled most of their corporate connections, Wanda is a powerful ally and is the operator of the largest cinema chain in China.

Unconfirmed industry commentary from China points to a wide release with tens of thousands of screenings per day and distribution including premium screen formats, such as Imax and Dolby.

There is a certain urgency to the process as the movie will be available for streaming outside China on Dec. 13 (Swift’s birthday), and some online piracy within China is to be expected. But posters circulating within China point to a release in the first half of January.

Nearly every foreign star is given a Chinese nickname and Swift is no exception. She is known as Meimei and her fans call themselves not “Swifties” but “Meimeis.”

The Chinese character “Mei” can be taken to mean unlucky, and “meimei” is used as a term of endearment, expressing sympathetic reference to Swift’s occasional chart disappointments. It is also a pun. The “unlucky” mei symbol is also a homonym of the Chinese character for “beautiful.”