Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biography “Elvis” hit theaters with an estimated $ 30.5 million in weekend ticket sales, but – in a box office rarity – “Elvis” has “Top Gun: Maverick”, which also reported $ 30.5 million, for no. 1 in theaters.
Final figures Monday, once Sunday’s grosses are tabled, will sort out which film finally won the weekend. With a high degree of accuracy, studios can predict Sunday sales based on Friday and Saturday business, although numbers often shift by a few hundred thousand dollars.
But for now, the unlikely pair of “Elvis” and “Maverick” are locked in a dance-off (if you prefer “Elvis”) or a dead heat (if you prefer “Maverick”). That it was so close at all was due to both a better-than-expected opening for “Elvis” and remarkably strong continued sales for “Top Gun: Maverick.” The “Top Gun” sequel reached $ 1 billion worldwide in its fifth week of release.
“Elvis,” with newcomer Austin Butler as Presley, kicked in over the weekend with expectations of closer to $ 25 million. Among recent music biopics, a $ 30.5 million debut puts the King ahead of the pace of Elton John (“Rocketman” launched with $ 25.7 million in 2019), but not in the same class as Freddie Mercury (“Bohemian Rhapsody”). opened in 2018 with $ 51.1 million).
“I’m less concerned about who’s number one and who’s number two, ‘ Brittle.
About 60% of the audience for “Elvis” was older than 35. Older audiences were among the most reluctant to return to theaters in the pandemic, but that is changing – in part, Goldstein noted, due to ” Top Gun, “which brought back fans of the original 1986.
“Elvis,” which cost about $ 85 million to make, was driven by strong reviews (78% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), good word of mouth (an A-CinemaScore) and a glamorous Cannes Film Festival premiere. That added $ 20 million overseas over the weekend.
“Elvis” is Luhrmann’s second best opening after 2013’s “The Great Gatsby” ($ 50.1 million). Luhrmann was about to start production in Australia when star Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID-19 in an indelible early moment in the pandemic.
“‘Elvis’ was a risky proposition: the music is dated, the character is not directly known, and the lead actor is unproven on the big screen,” David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research wrote in a newsletter. “But critics and audiences are responding. It’s the Baz Luhrmann show, a spectacular musical, dance and sex appeal – it’s a hit.”
Meanwhile, “Top Gun: Maverick” continues to rise. The Paramount Pictures movie became the first 2022 release to reach $ 1 billion in worldwide ticket sales, and the first starring Tom Cruise to do so.
In its fifth weekend of release, “Maverick” dropped just 32% domestically, bringing its total to $ 521.7 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters so far. It continues to move up in the record books, and is domestically 15th of all time, with no inflation. Internationally, the “Top Gun” sequel added another $ 44.5 million.
The “Elvis” / “Top Gun” showdown – along with the new Blumhouse horror release “The Black Phone” and major remnants in “Jurassic World: Dominion” and Pixar’s “Lightyear” – made it one of the most competitive and busiest, weekends in movie theaters in the pandemic era.
Most studios got away to celebrate, although Disney’s “Lightyear” dropped by a sharp 65% in its second weekend. After opening softly last week, the “Toy Story” attendance earned $ 17.7 million domestically, dropping to fifth place. “Lightyear,” which has so far made $ 152 million worldwide, will soon face more competition for families with the Friday release of “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
Counter-programming came from Universal Pictures’ “The Black Phone,” the Scott Derrickson-directed supernatural thriller starring Ethan Hawke as an escaped killer. The Blumhouse production garnered strong reviews (84% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) to a better-than-expected launch of $ 23.4 million.
After two weeks in the first place, Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” took in $ 26.4 million, which slipped to third. It has now surpassed $ 300 million domestically and raised $ 746.7 million worldwide.
A much smaller film, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” debuted with good sales in limited release. The heartily received stop-motion animated film, in which Jenny Slate a one-inch-tall mollusk with a googly-eyed voice, opened with $ 169,606 on six screens, for an average per screen of $ 28,267.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.
1. (Das) “Elvis,” $ 30.5 million.
1. (The) “Top Gun: Maverick,” $ 30.5 million.
3. “Jurassic World: Dominion,” $ 26.4 million.
4. “Black Phone,” $ 23.4 million.
5. “Light Year,” $ 17.7 million.
6. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” $ 1.7 million.
7. “Jugjugg Jeeyo,” $ 725,000.
8. “All In One Time,” $ 533,000.
9. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” $ 513,000.
10. “The Bad Guys,” $ 440,000.