‘The Great Gatsby’ Beats Box Office Predictions, Still No Match For ‘Iron Man 3’

“The Great Gatsby” earned more than $51 million during its first weekend at the box office, beating estimates that pegged the film’s debut at around $40 million. While the “Gatsby” haul was impressive, it could not dethrone “Iron Man 3” from the top of the box office.

The Baz Luhrmann adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel received mixed reviews from critics, but fans seemed to have been drawn in by the pageantry and glamour. The big box office numbers for “The Great Gatsby” was attributed to lack of competition, advanced ticket sales and strong female turnout, Box Office Mojo notes.

“The Great Gatsby” had just one rival in its opening weekend, “Iron Man 3,” and Marvel’s movie continued its march toward a $1 billion worldwide box office haul.

The Shane Black-directed film chronicling Tony Stark’s life after “The Avengers” debuted with $174 million during the May 3 weekend. For its second week in theaters, “Iron Man 3” grossed an estimated $72.5 million, a 58 percent drop from its opening weekend numbers, but it continues to be a success for Marvel Studios.

The film opened internationally prior to its debut in North American theaters and has grossed more than $664 million in foreign box office sales. Combined with the American numbers, “Iron Man 3” has grossed more than $948 million, and Box Office Mojo believes the movie can get past $400 million at the domestic box office. By the end of its theatrical run, “Iron Man 3” should easily clear $1.1 billion.

“The Great Gatsby” box office turnout is a win for Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio. “Gatsby” will become Luhrmann’s biggest film to date, besting the $57.4 “Moulin Rouge” earned domestically in its theatrical run, by Tuesday, Box Office Mojo reports. The $51.1 million is DiCaprio’s second-highest, falling short of “Inception” with its $62.8 million opening.

Although word of mouth, based on exit polling, was generally poor for “The Great Gatsby,” it should do well, with the possibility of earning up to $120 million domestically, Box Office Mojo reports, while the international haul still remains a bit of mystery before its debut at Cannes Film Festival. The audience for “Gatsby” was mostly women over the age of 25, and that should yield a solid second-week gross, as the week’s big movie debut, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” will not be competing for the same audience.

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