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Box Office Report: 'Great Gatsby' Parties to as Much as $15 Million on Friday

The Great Gatsby Cannes Out of Competition Still - H 2013
Festival de Cannes/PA

The Leonardo DiCaprio starrer is about to become director Baz Luhrmann's best opener ever.

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is throwing a party at the box office this weekend. The supercharged adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the upwardly mobile Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as his longtime love Daisy, is heading toward what’s looking like a $13 million to $15 million weekend – some observers think it might go even higher.

Warner Bros., which produced the movie with Village Roadshow, had been projecting an opening weekend in North America of more than $35 million, but that number could now climb above $40 million. It should easily set a new opening weekend record for Luhrmann, whose best opening to date was the $14.8 million that Australia opened to in 2008. Gatsby may well better that figure on Friday alone.

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Gatsby, which is attracting lots of female moviegoers, got off to a quick start on Thursday night by collecting $3.3 million from about 2,000 theaters around the country. Today, the 3D movie moved into 3,525 locations.

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 on its opening Thursday night by Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful.

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The jazz-age love story will easily take second place at the box office for the weekend, with Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3, entering its second weekend, comfortably maintaining its standing at the top of the listings with $70 million or more for the three days. As of Thursday, the latest Iron Man had taken in $212.4 million at the domestic box office and nearly $776 million worldwide.

Gatsby, which will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, cost about $105 million after $85 million in hefty Australian locations subsidies.