By Anthony D'Alessandro
Editorial Director/Box Office Editor
Wise men say only fools predict that adult-skewing films won’t work at the pandemic box office. But older moviegoers kept falling in love with Warner Bros’ Elvis this summer, to the point where it’s now director Baz Luhrmann’s highest-grossing movie ever in U.S. and Canada with $144.851 million, beating the original run of his 2013 title The Great Gatsby, which made $144.84M.
Elvis in its ninth weekend made $1.98M, down 23% week over week, at 1,741 locations.
The Great Gatsby, the take of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, counts a lifetime gross in the U.S. and Canada of $144.857M, and Elvis will clearly boogey past that today as well. Worldwide, the Austin Butler-Tom Hanks biopic at $269.8M ranks as Luhrmann’s second highest-grossing movie of his career after Great Gatsby‘s $353.6M. Luhrmann also produced and co-wrote Elvis.
Again, many thought adult-skewing, non-tentpole films were lost at the box office as streaming muscled up during the Covid era. However, Paramount’s Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum adventure comedy The Lost City ($105.3M) and Elvis have provided plenty of hope that these type of movies aren’t just destined to go to an OTT menu.
Now that Elvis has made older moviegoers comfortable at the box office, many — from exhibition to rival distributors — hope that momentum for non-tentpole fare can continue into a fall that’s littered with adult movies, i.e., Universal’s Bros, New Line’s Don’t Worry Darling, Sony/TriStar’s The Woman King and Amblin/Universal’s The Fabelmans.
Great reviews from their fall film festival premieres are crucial to juice turnstiles this autumn if we’re going to make it to mid-October, which is when the franchises start up with Halloween Ends and DC’s Dwayne Johnson title Black Adam.
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