Getting tickets to one of BTS’s first concerts in three years may be near impossible, but many fans of the global K-pop group were able to catch the group’s performance in Seoul at their local cinema.
In a rare one-night-only event, HYBE and Trafalgar Releasing brought the concert to theaters across the country to blockbuster results. At the worldwide box office, the limited engagement of “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul” earned $32.6 million from 3,711 theaters in 75 theatrical markets around the world. For context, the concert screening made more money in a single day than some pandemic-era Hollywood films generated in their opening weekends.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, called the numbers “astonishing” and “unprecedented”.
“For a one-day gross to reach this level, especially the global number, is mind-boggling and a testament to the power of a one-shot event to drive moviegoers to the cinema,” Dergarabedian said.
Unlike “Break the Silence: The Movie,” a documentary about BTS stars RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook as they embarked on their 2019 tour, this weekend’s screening was not a traditional feature film. Instead, ticket buyers were treated to a live stream — which was delayed in some locations given the time change — of BTS’ concert at South Korea’s Olympic Stadium.
In North America, “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul” played in 803 venues and grossed around $6.84 million on Saturday. Those returns translate to $8,500 per venue, the second-best weekend theater average after “The Batman” at $15,621 per venue.
Making these ticket sales all the more impressive, “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage” managed to crack the top five at the domestic box office despite playing at less than 1,000 locations. It landed in third place behind Robert Pattinson’s superhero adventure “The Batman” (which raised $66 million from 4,417 sites over the weekend) and Tom’s video game adaptation. Holland “Uncharted” (which generated $9.2 million from 3,725 sites over the weekend).
In the United States and Canada, tickets cost $35, which is higher than the average ticket price of $9 in North America. Higher prices don’t seem to deter anyone. Multiplexes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston and Chicago were particularly busy, with many reporting several sold-out screenings.
HYBE 360 President DJ Kim said, “As the pandemic has made it difficult to get to the concert hall, we wanted to create an opportunity for fans to gather and watch the concert together. We came up with the idea of ”watching live” in cinemas and are excited to provide an alternative experience for fans to enjoy the concert live.
Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing, added: “It’s a testament to both the hugely dedicated ARMY fandom and the overall comeback of cinemas globally.”