Luhrmann has written and directed just six films, but the last five have become box-office hits.
Elvis edged ahead of The Great Gatsby on Tuesday, Aug. 23 to become director/writer/producer Baz Luhrmann’s top-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada. According to boxofficemojo.com, Elvis has grossed $147,335,000 domestically as of Monday (Aug. 29), a shade more than Luhrmann’s previous film, The Great Gatsby, which has grossed $144,858,000 domestically.
Yes, that’s right, “Elvis” has now outgrossed not just “Moulin Rouge,” but also “The Great Gatsby,” which starred none other than Leonardo DiCaprio. Berman says Luhrmann’s track record of creating pop-inflected stories helped drive business.
The studio’s bold bet on Butler paid off handsomely. The young star has earned Oscar buzz and rave reviews for “Elvis,” in which he charts Presley’s rise to the top of the charts, as well as his struggles with addiction and personal problems. The movie has also become an unlikely box office juggernaut. Despite debuting in late June, at the height of popcorn season, “Elvis” has grossed nearly $150 million domestically and more than $276 million globally, an impressive figure for a film that is superhero-less. Credit, Berman says, also has to go to Tom Hanks, who portrays Presley’s shady manager Col. Tom Parker, and director Baz Luhrmann, the Australian auteur behind “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet,” who injected his trademark sizzle and sparkle into the proceedings.
Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio have each starred in two Luhrmann films. John Leguizamo has co-starred in two. To date, Kidman is the only performer to receive an Oscar nomination for acting in a Luhrmann film. Will Butler, who plays the title role in Elvis, and/or Tom Hanks, whose turn as Col. Tom Parker has received mixed notices, receive Oscar nominations next year? Place your bets.