Elvis, the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic about the King of Rock and Roll, crossed a box office milestone this weekend, shortly after it came to HBO Max. The film is one of a handful of movies that had a solid opening weekend this summer, rather than just being steamrolled by the juggernaut of Top Gun: Maverick, and even though it’s hardly a billion-dollar blockbuster — it crossed $150 million at the domestic box office this weekend — it’s still a solid hit for Warner Bros. Discovery, a studio desperately searching for good news.
Tom Hanks and Austin Butler star in the film, which has been a critical darling since its release in June. Made for around $85 million, it’s well into profitability at this point, but honestly with a movie like this, and a filmmaker like Luhrmann, it’s as much about the coming awards season as anything else.
“I love biopics, but this is not really a biopic, right? It’s really about, for me, America in the 50s and the 60s and the 70s,” Luhrmann said during the film’s press junket. “And if you want to talk about America in the 50s and 60s and the 70s at the center of culture, for the good, the bad, and the ugly, is a figure [like] Elvis Presley.”
“Like how Shakespeare would take a historical figure like a king and explore a big theme, or Amadeus isn’t really about Mozart when you learn so much about Mozart, it’s about jealousy,” Luhrmann explained. “What this movie is about is America in those three epochs — Elvis the rebel, Elvis the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, and Elvis the living legend, the icon trapped in that hotel not 10 minutes from here, by a man called Colonel Tom Parker.”
Here’s the synopsis for the film: “The movie explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks),” Warner Bros.’s synopsis reads. “The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).”
Are you going to watch Elvis this weekend? Let us know down in the comments!