Taylor Swift isn’t just shaking it off: she’s shaking things up in Hollywood with a bombshell deal that has reportedly left studios seething.

The pop icon is bringing her “Eras Tour” concert to theaters on October 13, and has made the radical move of cutting out the middleman — a Hollywood studio distributor like Disney, Paramount, or Universal— and making a deal directly with AMC Theatres to distribute the film on its screens, while also distributing in other theaters via a sub-distribution deal with Variance Films.

Here’s why this is such a big deal. Traditionally there are three parties involved in bringing movies to theaters: the producer, the distributor, and the exhibitor. The first two are often housed under the same roof; for example, Disney owns Pixar Animation Studios (a production company) and also distributes Pixar movies by making deals with exhibitors (theaters). Box office ticket sales are then split between the exhibitors and the distributor, with the studio usually taking a bigger cut of opening weekends, and theaters taking a larger percentage later on in a movie’s theatrical run.

Up until recently, there was a sharp dividing line between movie studios and theaters: studios were not allowed to own movie theaters, due to a landmark antitrust decision in 1949. But this decision was overturned in 2020, which means that Disney could now theoretically launch a chain of Disney theaters, and an exhibitor like AMC can get into the distribution game.

So, when the Swift family found Hollywood’s studios seeking to control the when and where of “Eras Tour” hitting theaters (as is typical of a movie release), they instead turned to AMC Theatres, saying: “I’ve got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name.”

Intentionally or not, this is a power move, and studios are reportedly angry about it. None of them have really capitalized on the opportunity to own their own movie theaters yet; they’ve been too focused on launching their streaming services, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic had everyone declaring that the cinematic experience was dead. But movie theaters rose up from the dead (they do it all the time) and have had a triumphant return this summer thanks to the twin powerhouses of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

As the gatekeepers of major movie releases, studios hold a lot of power in this relationship. But, as it turns out, they don’t hold any power over Taylor Swift.

According to a report by Puck News, the Swift family hired director Sam Wrench to shoot “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” for a budget of around $10-20 million, and were directly discussing distribution with studios. However, at least one distributor was thinking of a 2025 release, long after the live tour had ended, and the Swifts wanted it to play in theaters alongside the tour. So, they began negotiating directly with AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron, put together a deal in secret over a number of weeks, and announced it without any of the studios getting a heads-up.

IndieWire reports that there’s “major anger” at the studios over being blindsided by this news. According to Puck News, Universal Pictures is “extra-pissed.” Not only was the studio considering picking up “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” for distribution, it’s now had to move “The Exorcist: Believer” off its cool horror release date of Friday the 13th of October, to avoid getting crushed under Taylor’s kitten heel