Warner Bros.’ The Great Gatsby has divided critics but opened strong, with a much better than expected $51.1 million. Solid support from the female audience and fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel propelled the film to an impressive second-place debut. Under the direction of visionary director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet), this big screen 3-D adaptation of the Roaring Twenties tale of wealth, excess, greed and deception boasts the major star power of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan and a soundtrack featuring some of the hottest contemporary artists. This was a perfectly counter-programmed release in the middle ground of the release schedule between the openings of last week’s Iron Man 3 and the May 17 release of Star Trek Into Darkness.
Obviously with a $174.1 million North American debut last weekend, Disney’s Iron Man 3 was always a lock for first place with a second weekend gross of $72.472 million. With around 215 million North American bucks in the vault heading into the weekend, the film will bank nearly $285 million by Sunday night after just 10 days in domestic release and a worldwide total pushing toward the $1 billion mark with $949 million ($284.9M Dom/$664.1M) globally to date!
Dropping way down from the top two films is Paramount’s Michael Bay action film Pain & Gain which earned an even $5 million in its third weekend and a total to date of $41.6 million.
Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry Presents: Peeples opened in fourth place with a gross of around $4.85 million. According to the studio, the marketing campaign’s primary target for the comedy is African American female movie-goers, mothers and their daughters (in celebration of this Sunday being Mother’s Day) and fans of the film’s producer, Tyler Perry.
The top 5 is rounded out by Warner Bros.’ baseball drama 42 in its fifth week with a weekend gross of $4.65 million and a impressive domestic total to date of $84.7 million. Tom Cruise’s Oblivion from Universal lands in sixth with $3.864 million and $81.6 million to date.
Look for the debut of Star Trek: Into Darkness this Friday as the summer movie season continues to march boldly on.