The Quorum

It was a great night for Baz Luhrmann, but did it move the needle for ELVIS?

At CinemaCon on Tuesday night, Warner Bros. showed us new footage of its upcoming ELVIS movie. We’re still not sure who the audience is for this movie, but what we saw  was significantly better than the trailer we got in February.

The evening began with a montage of director Baz Luhrmann’s filmography from STRICTLY BALLROOM through THE GREAT GATSBY. It even included his gorgeous work on the Chanel ad with Nicole Kidman. 

This wonderfully edited piece was a strong reminder of just how beautiful Luhrmann’s films are. Each of his movies is a rapturous journey into a world of stunning art direction, elegant cinematography, and to-die-for fashion. 

The montage reframed ELVIS as another visual treat in the filmmaker’s canon. And, indeed, the new material was much more effective than the trailer in reminding us that we are stepping into a Luhrmann world. It was far more enticing this time around. 

Still, as we wrote back in February, it’s hard to imagine who this film is for. Elvis Presley isn’t especially relevant to anyone under 60 years old. The challenge for Warners is to make younger audiences care about him. As great as this new material is, we’re not convinced that it will move the needle. 

Meanwhile, ELVIS could use the help. Awareness for the film rocketed up to 30 after the first trailer in February before settling in the mid-20s. 

Worse, interest is an anemic 4.9. We grow very concerned when interest is below 5.5, let alone 5.0. 

It is clear that a legion of Luhrmann fans will show up for ELVIS. What’s less clear is if Warner Bros can grow the audience. The good news is that they now have some powerful footage to share with the world. 

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