Can Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis continue the success of such musical biopics as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman?
After weeks of splashy premieres, cinema executives around the world are about to find out whether the king of rock and roll has the same box office appeal as Queen and Elton John.
While Luhrmann’s interest in an Elvis Presley biopic dates back a decade, Hollywood studio Warner Bros would have been encouraged to back it by 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody taking an exceptional $US911 million ($1.3 billion) then 2019’s Rocketman following up with $US195 million.
But on the flip side, the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect took a dismal $US32 million last year.
In Australia, Elvis will be easy to find despite intense Hollywood competition from Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Lightyear and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
The managing director of Universal Pictures International, Mike Baard, says the Australian-produced film will open in about 305 cinemas around the country.
“It’s an absolute saturation release,” he says. “There are very few locations that won’t be playing Elvis.”
Baard is wary about saying how much Universal has spent on marketing the movie but it has included television advertising, premieres on the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne and promotional tours by Austin Butler, who plays Presley, and Tom Hanks, who plays manager Colonel Tom Parker.