Editor’s Note Monday June 27: The actual numbers are in, and “Elvis” (Warner Bros.) is king. Baz Luhrmann’s film grossed $31.1 million for the three days, $600,000 higher than the initial estimate after a better than expected Sunday. Being #2 for the weekend is hardly a sign of weakness for “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount). Its final figure of $29.6 million, though $900,000 below the $30.5 estimate both films had yesterday, is one of the best fifth weekends ever and does nothing to reduce the momentum the film with almost $521 million in domestic gross has.
Previously published June 26:
Lots of positive news for theaters this weekend to report, although like last weekend’s even better results, they come with caveats.
The standout result is that Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” (Warner Bros.) did over $30 million, at the high end of recent projections. Though not as big as “Bohemian Rhapsody” ($51 million), with the new film’s appeal to older audiences and opening in a much more competitive weekend, this is a very encouraging opening.
It is both for its studio (undergoing transition under new management) but more so for the industry. As a non-franchise film, it is a more than respectable start for a high-profile but not automatically success-certain project.
It’s the second biggest first weekend for any non-franchise 2022 release. Only “Uncharted,” with a much greater typical audience appeal and with the star of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as a draw (“Elvis” has the hardly unknown but less proven Austin Butler), started stronger ($44 million), and then on a weekend where it was nearly half the gross.
“Elvis” on the other hand faced off against the barely receding “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount), which returned to the top (at least until the tie is broken with actual Sunday numbers), also with a $30.5 million estimate, off only 32 percent, now at $522 million domestic with much more to come. The Tom Cruise smash was #3 held far better than the two films that placed ahead then.
“The Black Phone” is also on the positive side of the ledger. The Blumhouse horror entry, with a production cost of under $20 million, took in over $23 million, unexpectedly high, to place fourth. And as another original title and also facing many alternatives, that’s a terrific result.
The weekend saw four films take in over $20 million. The last time that happened was Thanksgiving 2018.
It could have been five if “Lightyear,” Disney’s latest Pixar release, did see an unprecedented second-weekend drop of 65 percent, ending up with $17.7 million and at #5. It was clear from its disappointing start that it was unlikely to rebound, but this fall is precipitous and could do real damage to the brand going forward.
Dropping a more normal third weekend, with 55 percent, but still a bit less than expectations (the crowded field is a big factor) was “Jurassic World: Dominion” (Universal), in third with $26.4 million. It’s already at $303 million. That’s over 90 percent of what the previous episode had done after 17 days. That is a strong indication of the appeal and ability to maintain gross for prime franchise titles.
But here is a key bottom line for the mostly positive news. Total grosses for the weekend will be around $135 million. After two weekends where the results improved over the same time in 2019, this time the outcome is only 65 percent versus the more normal pre-Covid date.
For the first time, last weekend saw our ongoing four-week rolling now to 2019 comparison rise just over 100 percent, a huge development. With the reduced result week, it returns to 91 percent. If anything close to that can be sustained, recovery would be better than expected. But that is not guaranteed.
The struggling specialized market was again boosted initially by an A24 release. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” an animated feature-length adaptation of a 2014 four-minute short about a talking mollusk, did a strong $169,000 at six New York/Los Angeles locations. The number was boosted by pre-Friday shows that elevated the rare PG (more family-oriented) release for the distributor. Coming after “Everything Always All at Once” and its breakout success, it’s another sign that in a turbulent time, at least initially here, A24 is coping better than most.
The Top 10
1. Elvis (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 63; Est. budget: $85 million
$31,100,000 in 3,906 theaters; PTA: $7,962; Cumulative: $31,100,000
2. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) Week 5; Last weekend #3
$29,600,000 (34-%) in 3.948 (-87) theaters; PTA: $7,497; Cumulative: $520,823,000
3. Jurassic World Dominion (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #2
$26,440,000 (-55%) in 4,233 (-464) theaters; PTA: $6,246; Cumulative: $302,776,000
4. The Black Phone (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 65; Est. budget: $17 million
$23,370,000 in 3,150 theaters; PTA: $7,419; Cumulative: $23,370,000
5. Lightyear (Disney) Week 2; Last week #2
$17,669,000 (-65%) in 4,255 theaters (no change); PTA: $4,153; Cumulative: $88,770,000
6. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney) Week 8; Last weekend #4; also on Disney + and PVOD
$1,725,000 (-61%) in 1,855 (-610) theaters; PTA: $930; Cumulative: $409,192,000
7. Jug Jugg Jeeyo (Moviegoer) NEW
$604,000 in 318 theaters; PTA: $1,899; Cumulative: $604,000
8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) Week 14; Last weekend #7; also on PVOD
$533,346 (-43%) in 524 (-155) theaters; PTA: $1,018; Cumulative: $66,088,000
9. The Bob’s Burgers Movie (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #8
$513,000 (-56%) in 590 (-760) theaters; PTA: $869; Cumulative: $31,043,000
10. The Bad Guys (Universal) Week 10; Last weekend #6; also on PVOD
$440,000 (-56%) in 1,033 (-461) theaters; PTA: $426; Cumulative: $95,488,000
Additional specialized/limited/independent releases
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (A24) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Telluride 2021, South by Southwest 2022
$169,606 in 6 theaters; PTA: $28,268
Flux Gourmet (IFC) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Berlin, Seattle 2022; also on VOD
$5,000 in 19 theaters; PTA: $263
$15,466 in 6 theaters; PTA: $2,578
Beba (Neon) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Toronto 2021, Berlin, Tribeca 2022
$5,428 in 3 theaters; PTA: $1,809
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Riato) REISSUE
$6,500 in 1 theater; PTA: $6,500
Official Competition (IFC) Week 2
$50,250 in 26 (+22) theaters; PTA: $1,933; Cumulative: $92,690
Lost Illusions (Music Box) Week 3
$8,218 in 12 (+3) theaters; Cumulative: $685
Mad God (IFC) Week 3; also streaming on Shudder
$19,000 in 26 (no change) theaters; Cumulative: $103,838
Watcher (IFC) Week 4; also on VOD
$20,000 in 53 (-83) theaters; Cumulative: $1,931,000
The Phantom of the Open (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4
$179,547 in 501 (+404) theaters; Cumulative: $401,536
Facing Nolan (Utopia) Week 11
$40,000 in 69 theaters (+69); Cumulative: $366,009