In an unusually tight box office battle, “Elvis and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ tied for the top spot in North America, with each film grossing $30.5 million over the weekend.
“Elvis” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were locked in a stalemate all weekend as the king of rock and roll took first place on Friday and fell to second place on Saturday. The final results will be counted on Monday.
Whichever movie comes out on top, it’s a good result for both. For “Elvis,” a $30 million debut is impressive for a film aimed at older audiences. For “Maverick,” it’s almost unheard of for a movie to pull in $30 million in its fifth weekend of release.
All in all, it’s been an encouraging weekend at the box office, as five movies are posting decent results. Four – “Elvis” and another newcomer, Universal’s Blumhouse thriller “The Black Phone,” as well as Universal’s leftover “Maverick” and “Jurassic World Dominion,” each grossed $20 million or more, while a fifth, Disney’s Pixar film “Lightyear,” came in close to $17 million.
“It’s more than encouraging,” said Jim Orr, president of Universal’s domestic distribution. “It’s a good sign that people really want to be back in theaters.”
Moreover, these ticket sales would not be far from the pre-COVID projections. These strong box office returns come as audiences reportedly began to feel safer than ever going to their local cinema. According to a study by the National Research Group, 88% of moviegoers are “very or somewhat comfortable” going to the cinema, which is a new all-time high. About a year ago, that percentage was closer to 59%.
Baz Luhrmann made “Elvis”, a kaleidoscopic version of the 20th century icon. Austin Butler stars in “Elvis,” which chronicles the artist’s meteoric rise through the eyes of his morally ambiguous manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks). Audiences dug the Warner Bros. film, giving it an “A-” CinemaScore.
Warner Bros. President of National Distribution Jeff Goldstein says he’s “absolutely thrilled” with the weekend’s opening numbers.
“There’s something about the movie that really resonates,” Goldstein said on a Sunday morning call. “Word of mouth is really great.”
At the international box office, “Elvis” opened with $20 million from 51 markets for a worldwide start of $50.5 million.
David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, called “Elvis” a “risky proposition,” which seems to be paying off.
“The music is dated, the character isn’t directly familiar, and the lead actor hasn’t proven himself on the big screen. But critics and audiences are responding,” Gross said. Baz Luhrmann, a show of music, dance and sex appeal – it’s a success.”
Warner Bros. and Paramount will count every last dollar and cent to determine which film ranks No. 1 by Monday. At the box office, ties for first place are rare, but it’s even rarer that one of the two contenders has been playing in theaters for more than a month.
The nostalgia-fueled sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” benefited greatly from stellar word-of-mouth, which led to tiny week-over-week declines. Now in its fifth weekend of release, “Maverick” added $30.5 million across 3,948 sites between Friday and Sunday, bringing its domestic total to $521 million. It was already the highest-grossing film of the year in the United States and Canada, but, after this weekend, it is also the highest-grossing film at the global box office, with revenues of 1.006 billion. of dollars. Notably, it’s the first movie of the year and only the second in the time of COVID (after Sony’s $1.9 billion “Spider-Man: No Way Home”) to cross the $1 billion mark. dollars.