Elvis Presley’s Last Movie Was an ABSOLUTE Flop

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It didn’t seem like Elvis would be one of the year’s biggest box-office draws when the musical hit theaters over the summer.

But sure enough, it made $286 million against a budget of $85 million and turned Austin Butler and the makers of the movie into awards-season contenders.

As it is, the American Film Institute already put Elvis on its list of best movies from 2022. And it’s up for seven Critics’ Choice Awards and three Golden Globe Awards, with the Oscar nominees to be announced in about a month’s time.

While we wait for those outcomes, let’s review the film career of Elvis Presley — which ended so poorly that it’s hard to marry with the huge success of this year’s Elvis.

Elvis Presley’s Time in Tinseltown

We all know that Elvis Presley was one of the most popular American musicians of all time. Most of us also know of his penchant for playing roles in movies too, thanks to the triad of Loving You (1957), Jailhouse Rock (1957)and King Creole (1958).

Some think Elvis simply liked to dabble in film from time to time, maybe because he loved being seen and talked about as much as possible. But there’s more to the story.

According to Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick, the singer desperately wanted to achieve the same success in dramatic film roles as his idols James Dean and Marlon Brando accomplished.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker — who Tom Hanks portrays in Baz Luhrmann’s new movie — Presley inked an acting contract with Casablanca producer Hal Wallis.

Elvis Presley’s Big-Screen Legacy

Elvis appeared in more than 30 movies. He could have been part of history by appearing in Grease, which came out in June 1978 and was the biggest-selling musical film ever to date.

[Naturally, its successors — like The Lion King (1994 and 2019), Rio (2011), Frozen (2013), and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009) — tallied far higher numbers.]

Instead, Elvis’ last film in which he played a feature role was the worst-received of his career: 1969’s Change of Habit.

The crime drama musical revolves around three nuns who work at an inner-city clinic — and a doctor who falls for one of them. You can probably imagine where the plot goes from there.

Change of Habit Falls Short

Mary Tyler Moore co-starred in Change of Habit. But that was well before she starred in her same-named TV show.

Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Ed Asner also appeared in Change of Habit, however, he and Moore didn’t have any scenes together.

Change of Habit peaked at #17 on a nationwide list of box-office totals, according to Fred Worth’s Elvis: His Life from A To Z. It sits on Rotten Tomatoes with an approval rating of 10 percent.

Guralnek wrote that the film was the product of a $1.25 million deal with NBC that also included a TV special named Elvis

Read More: “Flashback: Elvis Presley’s ‘Return To Sender’ Music Video is Still Iconic Today

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