Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis left Aussie cinema-goers loving the King of Rock all over again with the second-highest opening for a film in Australian box office history.

The Elvis Presley biopic, starring Austin Butler at the King and Tom Hanks as manager Colonel Tom Parker, took $6.74 million in Aussie cinemas over its opening weekend.

That was just short of the record opening weekend of $6.79 million, which The Great Gatsby, also directed by Luhrmann, took in 2013.

Elvis also impressed audiences in the U.S., with a $US30.5 million opening, equalling Top Gun: Maverick at the top of the box office as movie enjoyers start finally coming back to cinemas after the global pandemic.

The managing director of Universal Pictures International Australiasia, Mike Baard, said he was “absolutely thrilled” by the movie’s opening in Australia.

“People came out in big numbers,” he said. “There were a lot of other distractions: State of Origin on Sunday night, Minions opening, Top Gun, Jurassic World, Lightyear — a lot of other movies in theatres.

“So we’re chuffed that it was seen and loved.”

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Luhrmann shot Elvis in Queensland with the support of Hollywood studio Warner Brothers and Australian federal and state filmmaking incentives.

Fifty-six per cent of the film’s opening weekend audience were female. Despite expectations that the film would primarily appeal to older viewers who are fans of Presley’s music, 50 per cent of those women were aged under 44.

According to the American entertainment website DeadlineElvis had a booming start with a $US50.5 million debut worldwide.

“It shows these adult skewing movies can still open on the big screen to very good numbers,” box office editor Anthony D’Alessandro wrote. “Everything that’s non-tentpole doesn’t have to be sent to streaming.”

Elvis can be seen in cinemas now.

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