‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Could Upset ‘Elvis’ At Weekend Box Office As Tom Cruise Pic Flies To $500M Stateside

Breaking News, Elvis, Exhibition, Film News, Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear, The Black Phone, Top Gun: Maverick

Distribution sources are saying there’s a chance that Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick could top the box office this weekend in its fifth session with $32 million, a 28% decline week over week.

This will easily send the Tom Cruise movie past the half-billion point at the domestic box office; the pic already is the actor’s highest grossing of all time with $900 million-plus worldwide. Top Gun 2 continued to lead advance ticket sales today in the U.S., I hear.

Should Top Gun 2 fly in with $30M+, it will soar above Warner Bros’ $85M Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis, which is eyeing $20M-plus, and Universal/Blumhouse’s Scott Derrickson-directed R-rated $16M horror film The Black Phone, which is spotting $15M$20M.

Mixed in we’ve got the third weekend of Jurassic World Dominion, which is looking at around $29M, off 51%, and the second weekend of Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear, which is also expected to be down 51% at $25M.

The great news in all of this is the depth and diversity of business and product at the box office; there’s the possibility that five movies could do m ore than $20M apiece. It’s another great sign for exhibition that moviegoing is still the most affordable form of entertainment, even in an inflation-fueled economy. NRG also reported this week that 88% of all moviegoers are very or somewhat comfortable in attending cinemas, the highest score in the Covid era. Comscore called last weekend at $165M for all ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, 21% ahead of the same period in 2019. That remains the barometer year that continues to determine when we’ve fully recovered from the pandemic box office blues.

Elvis Austin Butler

Elvis, despite having a great world-premiere reception out of Cannes with the film festival’s longest standing ovation, faces an uphill battle. There is a disconnect between definite interest and total awareness and unaided awareness for the film, I understand. The movie is older-skewing and long at 2 hours and 39 minutes. Consider the fact that someone who is 50 years old was 5 when Elvis Presley died.

Should Elvis open to north of $20M at 3,900 theaters, it would arguably be the biggest opening for an adult demo wide release with that running time during the pandemic (House of Gucci was 2 hours and 38 minutes and debuted to a three-day total of $14.4M). Among non-franchise wide entries aimed at adults, The Lost City, with a $30.4M opening, is the best we’ve seen during the pandemic. Do the die-hard Elvis fans come out? The 60+ crowd has been hard to come by during the pandemic. You could say they have come out, and they’ve been going to Top Gun 2. Elvis is at 83% certified fresh, higher than Lurhmann’s previous 2013 feature The Great Gatsby (48% Rotten) which debuted to $50M.

Some are seeing a $30M opening for Elvis. Even by Tom Hanks’ opening standards for his non-franchise adult movies, that’s huge, and would rank up there with such starts as Sully ($35M), Saving Private Ryan ($31M) and Catch Me If You Can ($30M), and ahead of the actor’s recent movies A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ($13.2M) and Captain Phillips ($25.7M).

Fever and AMC offered a special promo for $10.99 tickets for Elvis. Warner Bros has promoted this movie non-stop since Cannes including a Graceland premiere, has full support from the Presley family, and has offered up fantastic late-night appearances by Austin Butler, who sublimely plays Elvis on screen…and off.

Check out Butler teaching Fallon how to dance like the King of Rock n’ Roll:

There was an early access fan event for Elvis last night in select cities. Thursday previews start at 5 p.m. in 3,200 locations. The pic will play in PLF, Dolby, Screen X, motion seats and drive-ins, while Lightyear sops up all the Imax auditoriums.

The Black Phone

The Black Phone hopes to hook the 17-34 crowd. The pic is 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes which is healthy for a Blumhouse horror movie on the critic aggregator site. Ethan Hawke stars as a masked guy who abducts young children in the basement of his home. That is, until he kidnaps the wrong kid who receives clues from the killer’s previous victims on a disconnected phone. The last great Blumhouse opening in recent memory with an R rating and aimed at this teen demo was the pre-pandemic Ma, which debuted to $18M in May 2019. That was only 56% Rotten. Black Phone‘s screenplay is by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill (Doctor Strange, Sinister franchise), based on the award-winning short story by Joe Hill from his New York Times  bestseller 20th Century Ghosts.

Juneteenth Monday saw the top 10 films per Box Office Mojo grossing $24.8M, making it the second biggest Monday of the summer to date (since the beginning of May) after Memorial Day, which saw the top 10 movies gross $45.5M.

Jurassic World Dominion

Through the four-day holiday weekend, Jurassic World Dominion led with $67.7M. The Universal/Amblin movie topped all titles Tuesday with $7.1M, taking its running total to $266M.

Top Gun 2 was second Tuesday with $5.99M, and a running total of $480.7M. The pic posted a four-day holiday take of $52.55M.

Lightyear posted a four-day total of $57.1M. It did $5.86M on Tuesday, ranking third, with a running total of $63M.

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