Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Elvis Finishes Neck-and-Neck with Top Gun: Maverick

Baz Luhrmann's musical biopic faced stiff competition from the Tom Cruise blockbuster, which became the actor's first ever to cross $1 billion at the global box office on the weekend of June 24-26, 2022.

by | June 26, 2022 | Comments

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The battle for the weekend’s box office came down to the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll vs. “The Last Movie Star.” Although Toms Cruise and Hanks can both certainly lay claim to incredible box office streaks over their careers, one of their films passed half-a-billion this weekend, and the other is going to hope to make a play at just $100 million. Competition aside, good news is the focus of the numbers this weekend, and we could just see that extend into a very healthy July.

King of the Crop: Elvis Finishes Neck-and-Neck with Top Gun: Maverick

Austin Butler as Elvis in Elvis (2022)

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is going to be sweating until the Monday numbers are finalized because right now it is in a virtual tie with Top Gun: Maverick based on studio estimates. The musical biopic earned $30.5 million over the weekend. Not quite Straight Outta Compton ($60 million) or Bohemian Rhapsody ($51 million) but ahead of All Eyez On Me ($26.4 million), Rocketman ($25.7 million), Walk The Line ($22.3 million), 2009’s Notorious ($20.4 million), and Ray ($20 million). Luhrmann had his own movie star headliner in Leonardo DiCaprio for The Great Gatsby, which opened to $50 million and went on to over $144 million. The question now is whether or not word-of-mouth will drive Elvis past $100 million.

Apart from the frontloaded anomalies that were All Eyez On Me and Notorious, the rest of those musical biopics grossed $75 million or more. And aside from Straight Outta Compton, the rest of them had no less than a 3.74 multiple over their opening weekend. That would give Elvis at least a return of $114 million, leaving the $85 million budgeted film to hopefully recoup its costs internationally. That may prove dicey as none of those films apart from Bohemian Rhapsody reached $100 million outside of the U.S. If only Col. Parker would have let the real Elvis tour the world. Theaters need only be worried about their own profits though, and they are, no doubt, welcoming a film not based in franchise dynamics to be pulling in a crowd that skews more adult. While Elvis is rated PG-13, there has still been no R-rated film to reach $100 million. Though Elvis Presley can certainly be considered a brand all on his own, as the subject of a movie he still ranks in many ways as an adult original that theaters are hoping can take care of business.

Fresh Surprise: The Black Phone Scores a Win for Original Horror

Ethan Hawke in The Black Phone

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

Because any kind of original horror has yet to find its core audience, Scott Derrickson’s The Black Phone gets the honor this week. Halloween Kills and this year’s Scream certainly had notable openings before they trailed, off but they lead that R-rated category with $92 million & $80 million, respectively. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($65.6 million) and 2021’s Candyman ($61.1 million) also had built-in audiences, but the top original horror films during the pandemic years of 2021 and 2022 have been M. Night Shyamalan’s Old ($48 million) and Ti West’s X ($10 million). The Black Phone opened to $23 million, right in between The Conjuring 3 and Candyman, and would love to pull in $60 million for Blumhouse and get into IP territory. As of now, horror is the only R-rated game in town getting over that total, aside from the little miracle that is Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The Top Ten and Beyond: Maverick Becomes Tom Cruise’s First $1 Billion Earner

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

(Photo by Scott Garfield/©Paramount Pictures)

The numbers on Top Gun: Maverick just will not quit. Another $30.5 million gave it the second-best fifth weekend ever, one week after it had the second-best fourth weekend ever, sandwiched between two James Cameron film, Avatar ($42.7 million) and Titanic ($30.01 million). Last week it had the 13th-highest gross after 24 days. Now, with $521 million banked, it has entered 10th place amongst films after their first month of release. Maverick is now just $14 million off the pace of Incredibles 2, and it nearly doubled what that film made in its fifth weekend. A domestic total of $600 million appears to be in the cards for it, and it is not a far reach then to become one of the ten highest-grossing films of all time. But the biggest news is that a Tom Cruise film just became part of the $1 billion club for the first time.

Jurassic World: Dominion just became the 35th film in history to reach $300 million after 17 days of release; another $26.4 million secured that this weekend. However, its shot at $400 million was nevertheless weakened. Looking at the four films it is closely in sync with – The Hunger Games, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and The Batman – only The Hunger Games got itself over $400 million, and Dominion’s third weekend was higher only than Sith by $1.7 million and $7-10 million below the rest. Somewhere in the $380 million range is still very possible domestically, while its global total has passed $746 million.

Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear (2022)

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

The Lightyear numbers continue to be disappointing, as it dropped more than 60% in its second weekend, a feat that only Pixar’s Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur managed. Lightyear fell 65%, in fact, down to $17.7 million, bringing its total to $88 million. That is the third-worst second weekend for a Pixar film ever, behind the company’s debut Toy Story ($20.1 million) and ahead of just that film’s follow-up, A Bug’s Life ($17.1 million); its lowest-grossing pre-pandemic film ever, The Good Dinosaur ($15.3 million); and the film whose second weekend was interrupted by the start of the pandemic, Onward ($10.6 million). The numbers are well behind the pace of Cars 3, which finished with just $152 million. On the other hand, it will pass both The Bad Guys and Encanto this week to become the second-highest-grossing animated film during the pandemic behind Sing 2’s $162 million and the third best PG-rated film behind that and Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s $190 million. The release of Minions: The Rise of Gru next week will help tell a much broader story about whether Lightyear’s numbers were a genuine disappointment or part of a new normal.

A24 is hoping to have another hit on their hands with the stop-motion animated Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. The film is currently holding onto a perfect Certified Fresh 100% from critics, and it grossed $169,000 this weekend in just 6 theaters. That’s a $28,268 per-theater average, which is the sixth best of the year among all films and third for films in limited release behind Everything Everywhere All At Once ($50,966 PTA in 10 theaters) and The Worst Person in the World ($34,606 PTA in 4 theaters). The film opens wider on July 15 and, more than likely, will find its way into the top 10.

On the Vine: Minions Look to Take Over the World

Minions: The Rise of Gru

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

One of the last holdovers from the pandemic schedule shuffle is finally getting its time in theaters. Minions: The Rise of Gru, the second in the Minions spin-off series and fifth overall in the Despicable Me franchise, looks to take the top spot at the box office. The last film opened to $115 million and grossed over $336 million domestic and just shy of $1.16 billion worldwide. Next week’s numbers may bring broader perspective on family audiences’ pandemic-laxed allegiance to theaters and whether or not Lightyear’s numbers were as a result of this or something more.

Full List of Box Office Results: June 24-26, 2022

  • $30.5 million ($30.5 million total)

  • $30.5 million ($521.7 million total)

  • $26.4 million ($302.8 million total)

  • $23.4 million ($23.4 million total)

  • $17.7 million ($88.8 million total)

  • $1.73 million ($409.2 million total)

Jug Jugg Jeeyo

  • $725,000 ($725,000 total)
  • $533,346 ($66.1 million total)

  • $513,000 ($31 million total)

  • $439,975 ($95.5 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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