Weekend Box Office: Elvis ($31.2M) Edges Out Top Gun: Maverick ($29.6M)

Images courtesy: Warner Bros., Paramount.

Monday Update: In the final Monday “actual” numbers, Elvis ($31.2M) took the box office lead. Top Gun: Maverick earned $29.6M. The two films’ Sunday studio estimates, from Warner Bros. and Paramount respectively, were originally tied at $30.5M. However, Elvis slightly over-performed that estimate, while Maverick slightly under-performed.

Maverick does, however, capture the #4 fifth weekend of all time, behind only American Sniper ($64.6M), Avatar ($42.7M), and Titanic ($30.0M).

Note: Boxoffice PRO will update this article on Monday afternoon with updated weekend actuals, including which film actually took the top spot once the dust settles.

Blue suede shoes seeing green

He might be nicknamed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but it’s unclear that Warner Bros.’ Elvis Presley biopic Elvis is king at the box office. The film debuted with a projected $30.5M, on the lower end of pre-release projections, which were closer to the $35M-$40M range.

Compared to other comparable musician biopics, that $30.5M opening is:

  • +18% above 2019’s Rocketman, about Elton John ($25.7M)
  • -40% behind 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, about Queen’s Freddie Mercury ($51.0M)
  • +79% above 2019’s Yesterday, which was about a Beatles super-fan, although not a straight biopic of the band ($17.0M)
  • -39% below director Baz Luhrmann’s previous theatrical release, 2013’s The Great Gatsby ($50.0M)
  • 3.4x 2021’s Respect, about Aretha Franklin ($8.8M). That film is also a bit of an apples-and-oranges comparison, since it only earned $24.2M total, less than Elvis’s opening alone.

The audience for Elvis was 60% older than 35. Clearly, older audiences are now feeling more comfortable returning to the cinema, as that stat tracks higher for other recent films aimed at older audiences, including:

  • May’s Top Gun: Maverick (55%)
  • December 2021’s West Side Story (54%)
  • October 2021’s The Last Duel (51%)

Overseas, Elvis started with $20.0M, for a $50.5M global opening. Top markets included the U.K. (4.7M), Australia (also $4.7M), France ($2.0M), and Germany ($1.0M).

Back on ‘top’

Last month, Paramount’s action-adventure sequel Top Gun: Maverick debuted with “only” the #39 opening weekend of all time (now down one spot to #40 thanks to Dominion.)

Then, due to superb word of mouth, the film perpetually stayed in the “top 10” tier, capturing the #8 second weekend of all time, the #10 third weekend, and #3 fourth weekend.

This frame, it earns a projected $30.5M, notching the #3 fifth weekend of all time. That ranks behind only American Sniper ($64.6M) and Avatar ($42.7M).

And Sniper’s entry on that list comes with an asterisk: it spent several weeks in limited release before expanding nationwide, so its so-called “fifth weekend” was actually only its second weekend in wide release.

Gunning for $1B

With $527.1M domestically, Maverick is the highest-grossing film of 2022, despite only claiming the fourth-largest opening weekend:

  • Despite Maverick posting an opening -32% behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Multiverse, it overtook Multiverse on their respective 10th days of release (their second Sundays).

  • Ditto for The Batman. Maverick opened -5% behind it, but overtook it on their respective fourth days of release (their first Mondays).

  • And same for Jurassic World: Dominion. Maverick opened -12% behind it, but exactly like versus The Batman, overtook it on their respective fourth days of release (their first Mondays).

Maverick has earned $521.M domestic, $484.7M overseas, and $1.005B globally. That’s the biggest global total of 2022 so far, including Chinese films.

It also means 52% of its global earnings have come domestically, a rare feat in this day and age for a film at this level, helped in large part because the film has not been released in China.

Top markets include the U.K. ($78.7M), Japan ($51.1M), Australia ($45.5M), France ($38.8M), and Germany ($23.4M).

Still biting

Two frames ago, Universal’s sci-fi thriller sequel Jurassic World: Dominion debuted behind both of its predecessors: -30% behind 2015’s Jurassic World ($208.8M) and -2% behind 2018’s’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($148.0M).

It also earned the #29 opening weekend of all time.

Last weekend, on the weakness of its mixed-to-weak reception, the title fell a fairly steep -59% to $59.1M. That was a sharper drop than Jurassic World (-49%) and equal to the sharp drop of Fallen Kingdom (also -59%).

It was also the #39 sophomore frame of all time, a bit lower than its opening rank.

This frame, it drops -55% to $26.4M. That marks the #82 third weekend of all time – considerably lower than its #29 and #39 ranks for its first two frames.

The film has now earned $302.7M domestic, $443.8M overseas, and $746.6M globally.

Top markets include China ($114.3M), Mexico ($39.6M), the U.K. ($33.3M), France ($19.0M), and Australia ($18.5M).

Ring ring

Universal and Blumhouse’s horror title The Black Phone opened to $23.3M in fourth place. That’s on the slightly higher end of pre-release expectations, with Boxoffice PRO projecting $20.3M.

Compared to other recent horror titles, that $23.3M opening is:

  • +6% above August 2021’s Candyman ($22.0M)

  • +38% above July 2021’s Old ($16.8M)

  • -3% behind June 2021’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($24.1M)

Compared to director Scott Derrickson’s other horror releases, it was:

  • 2.3x 2014’s Deliver Us from Evil ($9.7M)

  • +29% above 2012’s Sinister ($18.0M)

  • -22% behind 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose ($30.0M)

Phone’s audience was 51% female and also 51% under age 25.

The film also started with $12.4M overseas, for a $35.8M global debut. Top markets include Mexico ($3.4M) and the U.K. ($1.6M).

To infinity and below

Last weekend, Disney and Pixar’s animated spinoff Lightyear fell considerably short of expectations with a $50.5M opening, far short of the $75M-$105M range expected. It debuted in second place, instead of first place as widely expected.

This frame it drops a sharp -65% to $17.6M. That’s the steepest sophomore weekend drop of any theatrical released Pixar film, ahead of:

  • 2015’s The Good Dinosaur (-61%)
  • 2011’s Cars 2 (-60%)
  • 2018’s Incredibles 2 (-56%)
  • 2017’s Cars 3 (-55%)

(The above list excludes March 2020’s Onward, which fell -71%. However, its second frame fell during the March 13 weekend of “semi-shutdown,” after Covid was first officially declared a pandemic. During its would-be third frame, cinemas nationwide shut down entirely.)

For what it’s worth, the five Pixar films with the mildest sophomore weekend declines are:

  • 2001’s Monsters, Inc. (-27%)
  • 2004’s The Incredibles (-29%)
  • 1995’s Toy Story (-31%)
  • 2003’s Finding Nemo (-34%)
  • 2009’s Up (-35%)

‘All’ in the family

A24’s sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once has now earned $66.0M, padding its lead as the top film in the history of indie distributor A24. That’s ahead of A24’s:

  • 2019’s Uncut Gems ($50.0M)
  • 2017’s Lady Bird ($48.9M)
  • 2018’s Hereditary ($44.0M)

This also marks Everything‘s 13th weekend in the box office top 10, despite only attaining a top rank of #4 on any given weekend.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around $132.5M, which is:

  • -19% below last weekend’s total ($164.5M), when Jurassic World: Dominion led for a second consecutive frame with $59.1M.
  • 2.8x above the equivalent weekend in 2021 ($45.8M), when The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard led with $11.3M.
  • -35% below the equivalent weekend in the last pre-pandemic year 2019 ($203.8M), when Toy Story 4 led with $120.9M.

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $3.58B. That’s:

  • 3.61x this same point in the pandemic recovery year of 2021 ($961.7M)
  • -34.2% behind this same point in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year ($5.42B)

That marks the highest YTD standing versus 2019 attained so far this year.

Top distributors

Paramount still leads by a considerable margin:

  1. Paramount ($959.6M)
  2. Universal ($586.0M)
  3. Warner Bros. ($506.7M)
  4. Disney ($504.6M)
  5. Sony Pictures ($487.8M)

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: 

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
Elvis $30,500,000   3,906   $7,808 $30,500,000 1 Warner Bros.
Top Gun: Maverick $30,500,000 -32% 3,948 -87 $7,725 $521,723,000 5 Paramount
Jurassic World: Dominion $26,440,000 -55% 4,233 -464 $6,246 $302,775,820 3 Universal
The Black Phone $23,370,000   3,150   $7,419 $23,370,000 1 Universal
Lightyear $17,669,000 -65% 4,255 n/c $4,153 $88,770,257 2 Walt Disney
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness $1,725,000 -61% 1,855 -610 $930 $409,192,074 8 Walt Disney
Jugjugg Jeeyo $604,000   318   $1,899 $604,000 1  
Everything Everywhere All At Once $533,346 -43% 524 -155 $1,018 $66,088,446 14 A24
The Bob’s Burgers Movie $513,000 -56% 590 -760 $869 $31,042,995 5 20th Century…
The Bad Guys $440,000 -56% 1,033 -444 $426 $95,488,025 10 Universal
Downton Abbey: A New Era $370,000 -55% 745 -434 $497 $43,284,620 6 Focus Features
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On $169,606   6   $28,268 $169,606 1 A24
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 $90,092 -62% 234 -205 $385 $190,724,000 12 Paramount
Official Competition $50,250 85% 26 22 $1,933 $92,690 2 IFC Films
Brian and Charles $46,000 -79% 279 n/c $165 $389,890 2 Focus Features
Facing Nolan $40,000   69   $580 $366,009 1 Utopia
Watcher $20,000 -77% 53 -76 $377 $1,930,806 4 IFC Midnight
Mad God $19,000 -48% 26 n/c $731 $103,838 3 Shudder
Lost Illusions $8,218 -45% 12 3 $685 $58,264 3 Music Box Films
Beba $5,428   3   $1,809 $5,428 1 Neon
Flux Gourmet $5,000   19   $263 $5,000 1 IFC Midnight
Images courtesy: Warner Bros., Paramount.

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