“Elvis” puts the King back in theaters

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LOS ANGELES

Baz Luhrmann’s rock ‘n’ roll biopic “Elvis” soared to the top of the box office during its opening weekend in North America, grossing an estimated $30.5 million in a rare tie with “Top Gun: Maverick,” Industry Watcher Relations reported on June 26.

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The nearly three-hour extravaganza from director Luhrmann, known for glitzy films like “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Great Gatsby,” grossed nearly double the average for the music biography genre, said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research.

Although it was a “risky proposition”, in part for casting newcomer Austin Butler as Elvis Presley alongside Tom Hanks as his exploitative manager, Colonel Tom Parker, the film impressed audiences and critics, Gross said.

“It’s Baz Luhrmann’s show, a show of music, dance and sex appeal – it’s a hit,” he said.

‘Elvis’ has been locked in a bind with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ – the audience-pleasing sequel to the original 1986 film that re-stars Tom Cruise as cocky Navy test pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell.

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It also grossed around $30.5 million in its fifth weekend of release. It is now the highest-grossing film of the year worldwide, crossing the $1 billion mark with nearly $522 million in ticket sales in North America and $484 million overseas.

In third place was “Jurassic World Dominion,” Universal’s sixth installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, at $26.4 million.

Fourth place went to horror movie “The Black Phone” starring Ethan Hawke as a serial killer, which grossed $23.4 million in its opening weekend.

“Lightyear,” Pixar and Disney’s latest computer-animated offering from the “Toy Story” empire, took the fifth spot with $17.7 million in its second week.

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