Everything you need to know about Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' movie

ByLeah Asmelash, CNN, CNNWire
Monday, November 27, 2023
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It wasn't enough for Beyoncé to command stadiums around the world this summer. Queen Bey is now coming to movie theaters.

"Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé," a documentary about the artist's record-breaking world tour, will be released Friday, gracing fans with an early Christmas gift.

Beyond several trailers promoting the film, little has been said about what to expect. The trailers show Beyoncé on and off stage, juxtaposing her full-glam performance scenes with more everyday clips. In one, she stretches with her 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy before a show; in another, she is make-up free and talking right to the camera.

Helmed by James B. Merryman, who also directed Shakira's 2019 concert movie, and Mark Ritchie, who was the cinematographer for Beyoncé's "Homecoming" film, the nearly three-hour experience is sure to be a visual feast.

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With the premiere date fast approaching, here's everything you need to know about what to expect from the movie.

What's the movie about?

Per the official summary of the film, "It is about Beyoncé's intention, hard work, involvement in every aspect of the production, her creative mind and purpose to create her legacy and master her craft."

Based on what we see in the trailers - shots of Beyoncé performing, rehearsing, etc. - that seems true. In one trailer, she also says: "In this world that is very male-dominated, I've had to be really tough to balance motherhood and being on this stage. It just reminds me of who I really am."

Striking that balance may also be a focal point of the film, as fans see how Beyoncé handles life on the road with her family.

When and where can I see it?

Officially, the film comes out on Friday, December 1, but some theaters have showings on Thursday evening.

Though prices will vary by theater, tickets will go fast; back in October, first day presales for tickets were reportedly estimated to be up to $7 million.

Didn't Taylor Swift also have a concert film this year?

Yes, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" came out in October, raking in $96 million in its opening weekend - making it the highest-grossing concert film domestically for an opening weekend, according to AMC.

Unlike Beyoncé's film, the "Eras" movie was filmed over three nights during Swift's six-night residency at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles back in August, whereas the "Renaissance" film seems to chronicle a larger swath of Beyoncé's 56-show tour across Europe and North America.

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Still, the release of the two concert movies mirror each other. Both Swift and Beyoncé chose to distribute their films directly through AMC Theatres, rather than a traditional Hollywood distributor - effectively cutting out the middleman and securing higher paydays for the artists and their teams.

No matter what fans may think, the two do not seem to be in competition. Beyoncé made an appearance at Swift's movie premiere in Los Angeles shortly after wrapping her own tour. And in an Instagram caption, Swift said of Beyoncé: "She's been a guiding light throughout my career and the fact that she showed up tonight was like an actual fairytale."

In what may be a coincidence, the films' runtimes are almost equal, with Swift's coming in at 2 hours and 49 minutes and Beyoncé's listed at 2 hours and 48 minutes.

What do I wear?

Although there's been no official word from the Queen herself on how moviegoers should dress, Beyoncé did ask concertgoers to wear all silver when attending her "Renaissance" shows, dubbing it her "House of Chrome."

If attending the film on opening weekend, expect most everyone to be dressed like they're seeing Beyoncé live all over again. So yes, don your best "Alien Superstar" fit, and remember to pee before the show.

Why are some people boycotting the film?

Despite all the excitement, the "Renaissance" film has also left some fans conflicted.

The movie will be shown worldwide, including in Israel. Some fans, angry with Israel over its campaign in Gaza, have called Beyoncé out for not pulling the film from theaters in Israel and not speaking up against the conflict. (The Taylor Swift concert film has also played in Israel in recent weeks.)

"I love Beyoncé so much, she's like one of my favorite artists of all time," one person said on TikTok. "But her movie being distributed in Israel, I'm sorry - Queen, mother, come on."

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Fans also criticized Beyoncé in comments on her Instagram post this week about the latest movie trailer, with some saying they'll give up their movie tickets if she doesn't speak out against Israel.

Beyoncé has not reacted publicly to fans' comments. CNN has reached out to a rep for the artist for comment.

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