Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” topped $100 million at the domestic box office on Friday, becoming one of the rare films without superheroes or dinosaurs to reach that mark. Globally, the Warner Bros. film has made over $170 million, an impressive result for this kind of material.
To be fair, “Elvis” was expensive. The movie which looks at Elvis Presley’s rise to become one of the hottest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, as well as his struggles with drugs and changing tastes, cost $85 million to produce and tens of millions more to market.
“Elvis” stars Tom Hanks as the singer’s manager Colonel Tom Parker with relative newcomer Austin Butler in the title role. Butler, who beat out higher profile actors like Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller to land the part, has attracted Oscar buzz. “Elvis” has a good chance to bypass “Australia” and its $211.8 million haul to become the second highest-grossing film of Luhrmann’s career. “The Great Gatsby,” another Warner Bros. release, netted $355.6 million globally to rank as the director’s most popular film.
“We are not only pleased to cross this milestone, but truly thrilled to see it happen with a film like ‘Elvis,’” Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “In today’s market and especially in the summer corridor, to see a non-branded IP with an up-and-coming lead create not just box office noise but also result in a significant spike in other areas is so gratifying and speaks to the quality of the film on every level. With strong playability, positive word of mouth and cross-generational multiple viewings, we expect ‘Elvis’ to continue to deliver and we congratulate Baz, Austin and everyone involved in the film and the soundtrack on its ongoing success.”
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