Warner Bros’ Baz Luhrmann directed Elvis has grossed $3.5M from all previews off 3,400 locations, which includes Tuesday fan events and last night’s showtimes. Meanwhile Universal/Blumhouse’s Black Phone took in $3M from showtimes that began at 5PM yesterday at 2,800 sites.
It’s expected to be a rich weekend at the box office with potentially four to five movies grossing over $20M.
Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby back in May 2013 did $3.25M from previews that began at 10PM that Thursday. While that movie powered to a $50M opening off the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, Elvis is different and contingent on much older die-hard fans coming out; a high water bar considering the movie is 2 hours and 39 minutes. Elvis is currently 81% certified fresh. The hope is that the $85M production gets a $20M start, and that would be remarkable breakthrough for an adult-skewing feature with that running time during the pandemic.
How Elvis compared to the last pop star big studio feature: Paramount’s Elton John 2019 biopic Rocketman at 2 hours and 1 minute grossed $1.75M from Thursday shows that began at 7pm and also took in an extra $580K from Fandango Paid previews for a total $2.3M. Rocketman posted a first day of $9.17M, and 3-day of $25.7M. That movie was R-rated to Elvis‘ PG-13.
Distribution sources are expecting Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick to take the weekend in its fifth go-round with around $32M. The Tom Cruise movie looks to shoot past half billion in the U.S./Canada today. Top Gun 2 made $5M yesterday, -9% from Wednesday, and leading all films, for a $69M fourth week, and a running total of $491.2M.
Meanwhile, The Black Phone, booked at 3,150 theaters is looking to clear $15M-$20M. The Scott Derrickson directed pic has very good reviews for a Blumhouse R-rated horror title at 87% fresh. Next to recent pandemic Thursdays for horror films, Black Phone is under the $3.5M Thursday 7PM previews of Paramount/Spyglass’ Scream (which debuted to $30M 3-day over an MLK holiday frame), and way ahead of the Thursday night previews of Uni/Blumhouse’s Forever Purge last year which did $1.3M.
Universal will see an extra pop from Jurassic World Dominion‘s third weekend, expected to be around $29M in second place. The Amblin production made $4.8M yesterday at 4,697 theaters, -11% from Wednesday for a $85.1M second week and $276.3M running total.
Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear did an estimated $3.8M yesterday, -10% from Wednesday, for a $71M first week. Updated projections have the Toy Story spinoff between $23M-28M (45-55%) in weekend 2.