Elvis ahead Gatsby the magnificent on Tuesday, August 23 to become director/writer/producer Baz Luhrmann’s highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada. According boxofficemojo.com, Elvis gained weight $150,471,000 domestically through Monday, September 19, a shade higher than Luhrmann’s previous film, Gatsby the magnificentwho gained weight $144,858,000 domestically.
Gatsby the magnificent continues to be Luhrmann’s top film at the global box office, grossing $353,660,000 worldwide, compared to $284,171,000 for Elvis so far.
Luhrmann, who turned 60 on September 17, has written and directed only six films, but the last five have become box office successes. Additionally, four of his first five films received Oscar nominations. Two have become double Oscar winners.
Four of his six films as a director have spawned successful soundtracks. Romeo + Juliet and Gatsby the magnificent both reached number two on the Billboard 200. Red Mill! hit #3. Elvis climbed to No. 26.
Luhrmann received both an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and a Grammy nod for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for his classic 2001 film. Red Mill! The 2019 Broadway adaptation of this film won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, although Luhrmann was not personally nominated. (He was, however, nominated for another Grammy for his work on the Red Mill! Musical comedy cast album. Luhrmann also received a Grammy nomination for his work on Gatsby the magnificent soundtrack.)
As Joy co-creator Ryan Murphy, Luhrmann is passionate about bringing great music from all eras to contemporary audiences. Perhaps the best example is the “Elephant Love Medley”, a 10-song extravaganza by red Mill!, which included songs as diverse as “Heroes” by David Bowie, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” by KISS. The lead single from that film, an all-star remake of LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Romeo + Juliet included a new version of Candi Staton’s 1976 R&B classic “Young Hearts Run Free” by Kym Mazelle. Elvis features several updates to Presley classics, including star Austin Butler’s “Trouble”, Maneskin’s “If I Can Dream” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio have each starred in two Luhrmann films. John Leguizamo co-starred in two. To date, Kidman is the only performer to receive an Oscar nomination for starring in a Luhrmann film. Will Butler, who plays the title role in Elvis, and/or Tom Hanks, whose turn as Colonel Tom Parker has received mixed reviews, receive Oscar nominations next year? Place your bets.
Here’s a look at Luhrmann’s six films to date. They are presented in chronological order: