‘Elvis’ Beats ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ By $1 Million in Heated Box Office Battle

The King is No. 1 at the domestic box office.

After a heated box office battle, “Elvis” emerged victorious over “Top Gun: Maverick” to claim the top spot on North American box office charts.

Over the weekend, “Elvis” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were duking it out as the King of Rock and Roll took the No. 1 spot on Friday and dropped to second place on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the films tied for first place in North America, with each reportedly earning an estimated $30.5 million between Friday and Sunday.

With the final results tallied on Monday, “Elvis” generated $31.1 million from 3,906 theaters in its box office debut while “Top Gun: Maverick” brought in $29.6 million from 3,948 venues in its fifth weekend in theaters.

Although “Elvis” ultimately took the box office crown, both films were able to post a strong result. For “Elvis,” a $31 million debut is promising for an adult-skewing drama since its core demographic does not traditionally rush out to see a movie on opening weekend. However, Warner Bros. spent $85 million to produce the film, not accounting for marketing or distribution costs, so “Elvis” has to keep playing in theaters throughout the summer to turn a profit.

It’ll help that “Elvis,” a larger-than-life musical biopic starring Austin Butler, has been well-received by audiences, who awarded the film an “A-” CinemaScore. Baz Luhrmann directed the film, which chronicles the performer’s meteoric rise to fame through the eyes of his morally ambiguous manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks).

For “Maverick,” a second-place finish at this point in its theatrical run is an unmitigated win — and a testament to the film’s unprecedented staying power at the box office. It’s almost unheard of for a movie to generate those kinds of ticket sales in its fifth weekend of release. To date, it has grossed $520.8 million at the domestic box office and stands as the highest-grossing movie of the year in North America.

Thanks to stellar word-of-mouth and critical plaudits, Paramount’s nostalgia-fueled sequel has become Tom Cruise’s first movie to surpass the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office, with global revenues currently at $1.006 billion. Notably, it’s the first movie of the year and only the second in COVID times (following Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with $1.9 billion) to fly past the $1 billion mark.

Overall, this weekend at the box office finally has movie theater owners feeling optimistic. That’s because, in a first for COVID times, four movies — Elvis” and a fellow newcomer, Universal’s Blumhouse thriller “The Black Phone” ($23.3 million), as well as holdovers “Maverick” and Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” ($26.4 million) — each grossed $20 million or more over the weekend. And a fifth, Disney’s Pixar film “Lightyear,” came close with $17 million.

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