• Box Office

German-Speaking Box Office, June 27, 2022

In rock’ n roll he was “The King”. In the movie version of his life, Elvis failed to reach number one – or even two – in the countries where he had over 30 number one hits. Here, the King got eaten by T-Rexes and Tom Cruise.

Elvis Presley has had no less than 149 songs appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America alone. Of these,18 went to number one and stayed there a total of 80 weeks.

In Germany and Austria, he was even more successful with almost double that number. But it is exactly in these markets that the long-awaited movie about his life failed to convince audiences on its premiere weekend. Elvis, the 160-minute-long Baz Luhrmann biopic that is nonetheless turning newcomer Austin Butler into a star, centers not only around the icon’s life but also that of his discoverer and manager Colonel Tom Parker (who took him on in 1955) played by Tom Hanks, one of the few big names in the film.

Olivia DeJonge plays Priscilla and Richard Roxburgh and Helen Thomson replaced Rufus Sewell and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the Presley parents when the shoot had to be halted because of Hanks’ Coronavirus infection. To get into the role, Butler says, “it was the soul of Elvis, stripping everything else away and getting down to who he was at his core”. And a lot of research: “I had a year and a half where I didn’t do anything else but watch everything and read everything [about him] trying to be everything and feel everything that he felt on the inside.” Butler’s portrayal spans over 25 years in Presley’s life. Elvis debuted at number three.

Jurassic World: Ein Neues Zeitalter (Jurassic World: Dominion) gripped tightly to the top spot in its third week. And Top Gun: Maverick flew in at number two again.

The fourth spot went to the other big debut this weekend: The Black Phone, a horror-thriller starring Ethan Hawke as a serial killer and newcomer Mason Thames as his potential next victim, is the surprise hit of the weekend. Thames plays Finney Shaw whom Hawke abducts and locks in a cellar where an old, disconnected wall phone begins to ring. When Finney answers, he hears the voices of his abductor’s first five victims who try to guide him out of his prison. Finney’s best friend Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) meanwhile, sees details of his abduction in dreams. To call the film gruesome is an understatement.

In fifth place is Die Geschichte der Menschheit – leicht gekürzt (The Story of Mankind – slightly shortened), followed by the Toy Story prequel Lightyear and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which fell two spots and ended up in number seven. Interesting trivia: The Black Phone director Scott Derrickson was supposed to helm the Marvel film before Sam Raimi got the job and took over.

Mia and Me – Das Geheimnis von Centopia (Mia and Me – The Secret of Centopia), and Massive Talent  – the Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, and Tiffany Haddish starrer – took the number eight and nine spots, while Fantastische Tierwesen 3: Dumbledores Geheimnisse (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) rounded out the week’s top ten.