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Why the Industry Needs Movies Like ‘Elvis’ to Succeed

Like it or not, "Elvis" is the kind of movie that the film industry needs to make work.

Elvis, Austin Butler

“Elvis” has entered the multiplexes, and so have questions about its commercial potential. Baz Luhrmann’s epic biopic has won raves for Austin Butler (and some derision for Tom Hanks as the scheming Colonel Tom Parker) and it arrives in theaters a month after its successful launch at Cannes.

Now, though reviews are mixed, it faces a challenging marketplace in which it may or may not meet the $30 million opening weekend gross expected for it. Luhrmann fans shouldn’t be the only ones rooting for it to get there, though. As Warner Bros. Discovery releases a movie that predates the company’s current structure, the potential for original, director-driven work remains a true question mark.

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson discuss why “Elvis” should do well theatrically during these unpredictable times for distribution even if the movie isn’t perfect. They also touch on the underperformance of “Lightyear” last weekend and how it might be a reflection of Disney’s earlier lack of investment in theaters during the pandemic. Finally, the pair turn to other recent releases, including “Brian and Charles” and “Beba,” in addition to the new FX series “The Old Man.”

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below. 

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman and available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous installments here, subscribe here, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. 

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