Great Gatsby Challenges Ironman 3 For Box Office Supremacy

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With The Great Gatsby showing a staggering $51 million box office return before the weekend is even over it looks like they are going to give Ironman 3 a run for it’s money in the top box office supremacy slot.

Ironman 3 cleared $72.5 million on its opening weekend and continues to draw huge box office receipts stateside and overseas. Studio estimates Sunday put “Gatsby” at No. 2 behind Robert Downey Jr.’s superhero sequel, which pulled in $284.9 million after just 10 days in U.S. theaters.

With an additional $89.3 million in its third weekend overseas, “Iron Man 3” lifted its international total to $664.1 million and its worldwide haul to $949 million. So while these figures show Ironman 3 as holding its lead for now, Gatsby may well surpass those numbers after its 10 day point.

Warners must be very happy with their 1920’s Baz Lurmann epic. The rumour mill had it that as The Great Gatsby was scheduled to open on Christmas Day of last year, but wound up being postponed until early May this year, The scuttlebutt was that this would-be Oscar contender was perhaps a white elephant. After early screening reviews seemed to indicate that it might indeed suffer the white elephant curse, with a mixed-negative critical reaction. Then a quick rethink about opening and a hasty date change, and trailers that received the same mixed reactions as the early screenings it began to look like Warner’s was in trouble.

But instead of being in trouble, Warner Brothers are counting their blessings and rejoicing that the combined starring power of Leonardo DiCaprio, Toby Maguire and Carey Mulligan are packing bums in seats in the movie theatres and is filling up the coffers of Warner’s quite nicely.

Considering that Gatsby hasn’t opened world wide yet, the film could still beat Ironman 3 for total box office domination which should make the smiles of Warner big wigs grow even wider.

Leonardo DiCaprio must be smiling large as well. With not so low whispers of his name heading the list come Oscar time, he must be feeling pretty confident of his star status right now.

It still remains to be seen if the version of F Scott Fitzgeralds’s book will be as popular with the movie going public as the 1974 Robert Redford version. The 1974 film also received mixed reviews from critics but ultimately proved a huge hit with audiences, despite the off-putting negativity of a lot of critics of the day.

One thing is for certain, with Ironman 3 still pulling in big box office receipts world wide, it will take a lot of ticket sales to keep The Great Gatsby in this close box office battle of returns. While the public are turning out in droves to watch DiCaprio, he doesn’t yet have the universal appeal of Robert Downey Jr who still has a huge female fan base world wide.

But considering the fact that Ironman 3 isn’t the sort of film that is usually honoured by the Academy come Oscar time, it probably wouldn’t hurt for Leonardo to start brushing up on his acceptance speech and get a new tux tailored, just in case.

By Michael Smith

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