Box Office Report: 'Great Gatsby' Scores Strong $3.3 Million in Thursday Night Runs

8:35 AM PST 05/10/2013 by Pamela McClintock
"The Great Gatsby."

Females are flocking to see Baz Luhrmann's ebullient adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby grossed a stellar $3.3 million in Thursday night runs, suggesting that the summer's second tentpole after Iron Man 3 could open to $45 million or more.

Females of all ages are expected to flock to see Gatsby, drawn in by Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Jay Gatsby, and the tragic love story laid out in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel memorializing the opulence and fickleness of wealth. The 3D film, from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, also headlines Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.

The movie's Thursday night run beat the midnight performance of previous female-fueled films, including fellow Warner Bros. film Sex and the City 2 ($3 million). Comparisons are complicated, however, since Hollywood studios are now opening their films before midnight. Gatsby did race past the $2 million earned Thursday night by Oz the Great and Powerful.

FILM REVIEW: The Great Gatsby

Gatsby is debuting in North America before it opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Warner Bros. is predicting a $35 million debut -- easily Luhrmann's best -- for Gatsby, but other box-office observers put the number at $45 million or higher.

Either would be a good result, though Iron Man 3 is almost assured of staying at No. 1 in its second weekend with a haul of $70 million or more. Through Wednesday, Iron Man 3 has taken in a mammoth $794 million worldwide; it could easily hit $900 million through Sunday.

Gatsby cost $105 million to make after $85 million in hefty Australian location subsidies.

Luhrmann's ebullient take on Fitzgerald's iconic novel is drawing mixed reviews, but it should prove a sizable curiosity. The movie's cast also include Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke.

Luhrmann was previously in theaters with Australia, which debuted to $14.8 million on its way to grossing a soft $49.6 million domestically. It did far better internationally, taking in $161.8 million for a worldwide total of $211.4 million.

Gatsby, with its modern score and elaborate party scenes, is invariably drawing comparisons to Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!, which grossed $179.2 million globally in 2001.

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