Scoring tickets to one of the first BTS concerts in three years may be next-to-impossible, but plenty of fans of the global K-pop group were able to catch the group’s Seoul-set show at their local cinema.
In a rare, one-night-only event, HYBE and Trafalgar Releasing brought the concert to movie theaters across the country to blockbuster results. At the global box office, the limited engagement of “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul” raked in $32.6 million from 3,711 cinemas in 75 worldwide theatrical markets. For context, the concert screening brought in more money in a single day than some pandemic-era Hollywood movies generated in their entire opening weekends.
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore, called those figures “astonishing” and “unprecedented.”
“For a one-day gross to come in at this level, particularly the global number, is mind boggling and speaks to the power of a one-chance-only 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 wasn’t a traditional feature film. Instead, ticket buyers were treated to a live-stream — which was tape delayed in some locations given the time change — of BTS’s concert at Olympic Stadium in South Korea.
In North America, “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage: Seoul” played in 803 theaters and earned roughly $6.84 million on Saturday. Those returns translate to $8,500 per venue, the weekend’s second-best theater average following “The Batman” at $15,621 per venue.
Making those ticket sales more impressive, “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage” managed to crack the top five on domestic box office charts despite playing in fewer than 1,000 locations. It landed in third place behind Robert Pattinson’s superhero adventure “The Batman” (which collected $66 million from 4,417 venues over the weekend) and Tom Holland’s video game adaptation “Uncharted” (which generated $9.2 million from 3,725 locations over the weekend).
In the U.S. and Canada, tickets went for $35 — which is steeper than the average $9 ticket price in North America. Higher prices did not appear to deter anyone. Multiplexes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston and Chicago were especially busy, with many reporting multiple sold-out screenings.
HYBE 360 president DJ Kim said, “As the pandemic made it difficult to access the concert venue, we wanted to create an opportunity for fans to gather and watch the concert together. We came up with the idea of ‘live-viewing’ at cinemas and are delighted to offer an alternative experience for fans to enjoy the concert live.”
Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing added, “It’s a testament to both the overwhelmingly dedicated fandom of the ARMY and the overall return to cinemas on a global scale.”