‘Elvis’ Opens to $30.5 Million, Still in Virtual No. 1 Tie With ‘Top Gun 2’ at Box Office

Warner Bros. biopic wins over older moviegoers as “Top Gun: Maverick” is expected to hit $1 billion globally on Sunday

elvis top gun maverick
Warner Bros.; Paramount

After Saturday box office grosses were counted, the race for No. 1 between Warner Bros.’ new release “Elvis” and the fifth weekend of Paramount/Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick” hasn’t cleared up with both films making an estimated $30.5 million.

“Elvis”‘ opening of $30.5 million is on the top end of pre-weekend projections, with Warner Bros. reporting strong turnout from Elvis Presley’s home state of Tennessee with theaters in Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas joining the usual Los Angeles and New York theaters in the top 10 highest grossing locations for the film.

In addition, “Elvis” has been successful in bringing older audiences back to theaters, as Warner Bros. reported on Saturday that 43% of the film’s opening day crowd was over the age of 50. With an A- on CinemaScore and strong audiences scores of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and 88% positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s Postrak, “Elvis” will need to turn that strong word-of-mouth into continued turnout among older moviegoers to turn a profit as the film has a reported $85 million budget before marketing.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” meanwhile, is on the doorstep of hitting $1 billion worldwide. The $30.5 million result for the film’s fifth weekend brings the domestic total for Tom Cruise’s biggest box office hit ever to an estimated $521 million, making it only the second Paramount release alongside “Titanic” to hit the $500 million domestic mark. Depending on Sunday’s final numbers, the film will cross the $1 billion global mark either Sunday or on Monday as overseas totals now stand at an estimated $484 million.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has also now passed the domestic total of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” to join the top 15 all-time domestic list and should pass the $543 million total of the 2019 “Lion King” remake for No. 12 on the list this coming week.

Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” is in third with $26.4 million, crossing the $300 million domestic mark as its global total now stands at $747 million. In fourth is another Universal title, Blumhouse’s “The Black Phone,” which has opened slightly above pre-weekend projections with $23.3 million from 3,150 theaters.

With a reported $18 million budget, “The Black Phone” will easily turn a profit, scoring a victory for original horror films after a year in which sequels to “A Quiet Place,” “Halloween” and “Scream” dominated the market. Reception has been positive with a B+ on CinemaScore going alongside Rotten Tomatoes scores of 84% critics and 90% audience.

“The Black Phone” will be the big horror film in theaters until Universal releases another original film, Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” on July 22. The question is whether the film will have a frontloaded performance like most horror titles or if the word-of-mouth can continue to bring in the 18-34 crowd, which comprised 64% of opening day audiences, even with major titles like “Thor: Love & Thunder” coming in July.

Disney/Pixar’s “Lightyear” completes the top 5, but has fallen off 65% from its already weak $50.5 million opening for a second weekend total of $17.7 million. With a 10-day total of $88.8 million domestic and $152.4 million worldwide, it’s likely that “Lightyear” will fail to eclipse the $400 million global run of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which stands as the top grossing family film of 2022. With a $200 million budget, that will mean that “Lightyear” will likely join “The Good Dinosaur” as a rare box office flop for Pixar.

On the limited release side, A24 released its own family film, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” in six theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco this weekend. Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp and based on his series of short films, the film grossed $169,606 for a per theater average of $28,267. Premiering at Telluride last year, “Marcel” has received overwhelming praise from critics with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score and will expand into select cities next weekend.