With free screenings in ten cities for the King of Rock and Roll’s birthday on January 8, the team behind Elvis is maintaining the buzz. Austin Butler’s portrayal of one of the music industry’s most enduring icons, Elvis, was so compelling and nuanced that it won over both critics and fans upon its June debut. The movie did well beyond expectations at the box office and is now receiving numerous nominations on this year’s awards circuit. It also starred Tom Hanks in one of the most distinctive roles as his illustrious caretaker.

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. and Graceland, the estate of Elvis Presley, are intensifying their efforts to commemorate Presley’s birthday. On January 8, several events will include free screenings of Elvis as part of ten different cities. Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver are among them, as are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, and Dallas. Except for the Los Angeles screening, which will start at 4 PM after a live introduction by Butler and director Baz Luhrmann at the AMC Burbank, all screenings will start at 5 PM. There will also be a 2 PM showing at Elvis Presley’s renowned Memphis estate, Graceland.

Why Elvis Was Successful

On Presley's Birthday, Elvis Will Be Shown For Free In 10 Cities
Warner Bros

There is no denying the accomplishment that Luhrmann’s Elvis had in 2022 and is probably going to have during award season in the early part of 2023. Elvis earned $151 million domestically, making it the highest-grossing original film of 2022. Behind Bohemian Rhapsody, Elvis finished with a total global box office take of over $286 million, making it the second-highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. Additionally, it has received numerous nominations from different critics’ choice awards, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Luhrmann), and Best Actor in a Drama (Butler) at the Golden Globes. In these categories, the movie also appears to be a lock for an Academy Award win.

Elvis was positioned by Warner Bros. as their main summer tentpole, which ensured its financial success despite COVID’s production delays. The fact that the legendary singer still has a devoted fan base after all these years certainly helped, as it was the first full-fledged Presley biopic in years. It also marked Baz Luhrmann’s return to directing after more than nine years, and the director’s signature brand of opulent auterism, as seen in this movie as well as his other classics like Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, added to the excitement. Butler’s stunning performance as Presley, along with Tom Hanks’ widespread popularity, has been credited by producer Gail Berman with a large portion of the film’s success.

Butler is the main reason why many fell in love with it, even though he wasn’t necessarily who audiences came to see. The rising star gave the part his all, adopting Presley’s mannerisms off the stage and nailing his stage persona. It was amazing to watch him physically change into the various Elvis Presley incarnations over the years using costumes and hair, and it was equally impressive to hear him imitate Presley’s deep southern drawl. Butler actually performed all of Elvis’ singing in the movie up until the crucial year of 1968, according to Elvis composer Elliott Wheeler, which makes the performance even more impressive. Elvis became the ideal counterprogramming in 2022 thanks to what seemed like a perfect storm that came together.

Source: Deadline