"Eyes Open" is a song written and recorded by Taylor from the soundtrack album "The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond", which is not included in the film. Produced
by Taylor and Nathan Chapman, it was released as the lead single from the album and was sent to mainstream radio on March 27, 2012. A music video consisting of
animation with the lyrics of the song was released on Vevo in May 2012.
The song was one of two songs that Taylor wrote and recorded for the soundtrack to the film "The Hunger Games", the other one being "Safe & Sound". She first premiered the song during a performance in Auckland (New Zealand) on her "Speak Now World Tour". Before launching into the song she told the crowd: "I'm really excited about it...but, I mean, you don't think I'd get in trouble if I played it
now? Probably not, right?" The song was leaked before its official release date of March 20, 2012.
The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 as the Hot Shot Debut at number 19 with sales of 176,000 in its first week. "Eyes Open" debuted on Billboard Pop Songs
chart at number 28, making it Taylor's highest Pop Songs chart debut, later overtaken by "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" which debuted at number 18. The song would later reach
number 20 on the said chart on the week ending April 28, 2012. The song also debuted on Billboard Adult Pop Songs at number 24 and later peaked at number 11 on the week ending May
12, 2012. The song became Taylor's 16th million-seller and her second million-seller from the soundtrack to "The Hunger Games". The song has sold 1.3 million copies in the US as of November
Outside the U.S., "Eyes Open" achieved moderate success. In Canada, the song entered the Canadian Hot 100 and peaked at number 17 on the week ending April 7, 2012. In Australia, the
song peaked at Australian Singles Chart at number 47 on the week ending March 26, 2012. On New Zealand, the song peaked at number six, became Taylor's third top ten hit there, following
"Love Story" and "You Belong With Me". "Eyes Open" also appeared in Ireland and UK, where it peaked at number 65 and number 70 respectively.
The song garnered general critical acclaim from contemporary critics -- most of whom favorably noted the song's more rock-oriented tone as compared to her previous releases. While reviewing "The
Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond", Matt Bjorke named "Eyes Open" as one of the "standouts" on the record. Scott Shetler of Pop Crush gave the song four stars saying that
"Eyes Open" "bridges the gap between Swift’s typical radio-friendly tales about the teenage experience and her most recent release, the mature, haunting ballad "Safe & Sound", but described
the production of the song to be "the least country-sounding song Swift has ever recorded." Jason Lipshutz of Billboard also found the same description of the song - stating that it
"[exists] more in the modern rock vein than her usual country-pop oeuvre."