The exact budget for “Priscilla” has not been revealed as of this writing, but Coppola made her film for much less than Luhrmann made his. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Coppola revealed that she considered auctioning off a date with Jacob Elordi, who plays Elvis in the film, to help goose the budget. “Our budget was always strained, low budget, and I was like, ‘I wonder if I could raffle off a pickleball game with Jacob to raise money to get one more day of shooting,'” she said. That didn’t happen, but it demonstrates the constraint. All that was said, specifically, is that the film was made for less than $20 million. Just how much less is a major lingering question.
If we assume the budget was in the $15 million range, an $8 million opening wouldn’t be a bad start. Especially if the movie can have legs heading into awards season. An opening closer to $3 million would be less than ideal, to put it politely, and A24 would be relying more on VOD and awards love to justify the cost, rather than having it be an outright theatrical success. The former is preferable for all involved.
“Priscilla” focuses on a teenage Priscilla Beaulieu (played by Cailee Spaeny), who meets Elvis Presley at a party. Told through Priscilla’s eyes, it offers a glimpse at the unseen side of a great American myth in Elvis and Priscilla’s long courtship and turbulent marriage.
Also helping matters is the fact that critics have been kind to the film thus far, as it boasts a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You can read /Film’s somewhat mixed 6.5 out of 10 review here. In many cases, critical praise doesn’t translate to ticket sales, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.