Time was that box office hits were more diverse. Before franchise movies ruled the multiplex, a year’s biggest grosser could be a comedy (Three Men and Baby, 1987), a drama (Rain Man, 1988), or a ghostly romance (Ghost, 1990). Even high-concept extravaganzas could be one-offs (E.T., Titanic, Armageddon). This is a roundabout way of saying that everyone should break out the champagne, because a non-franchise movie just crossed the $100 million mark, and in only four weeks of release.
As per Variety, this weekend, Elvis — Baz Luhrmann’s over-the-top biopic about the King — crossed a benchmark, bringing its cume to a whopping $106.2 million. It’s still in the top five (albeit in the fifth slot), behind a three franchise movies (Thor: Love and Thunder, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Top Gun: Maverick), as well as another non-franchise entry: Where the Crawdads Sing, which chalked up a respectable $17 million for third place.
Elvis stars Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Austin Butler (who did not — we repeat not — punch Ezra Miller in the face at a Tokyo bar) as the one born Elvis Aaron Presley, whose life and career are both made and derailed by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks, in a fat suit and with an unplaceable European-Southern accent). It’s clearly bewitched audiences, though it is a bit strange that none of Presley’s songs have suddenly creeped back into the Billboard 100, as Stranger Things help do to ‘80s tunes by Kate Bush and Metallica. In a just world, “Polk Salad Annie” would crack the Top 10.