Jailhouse Rock premiered on November 8, 1957 at Loews State Theater in Memphis, Tennessee.
It opened nationally on November 18, and peaked at number 3 on the Variety box office chart, as well as reaching number 14 for the year at the box office. The film had an original budget of $400,000 (equivalent to $3,309,953 in 2012 dollars), and it grossed $4 million (equivalent to $33 million in 2012 dollars) at the box office. In 1957 Presley was ranked the 4th leading box office commodity in the film industry.
According to Variety, by 1969, the gross income of the movie in the United States and Canada was comparable to that of The Wizard of Oz.
In 1991, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were awarded with an ASCAP Award for Most Performed Feature Film Standards for the song "Jailhouse Rock".
In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".The film is famous for the dance sequence, in which Presley sings the title track while on stage, cavorting with other "inmates" through a set which resembles a block of jail cells. The sequence is widely acknowledged as the most memorable musical scene in Presley's 30 narrative movies, and it is credited by musical historians as the prototype for the modern music video.
Jailhouse Rock ranked 495th on Empire's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.
The review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports the film as holding an overall 79% "Fresh" approval rating based on 14 reviews, with a rating average of 6.9 out of 10.