“The Great Gatsby” (WB)

'Iron Man 3' to take first in soph sesh, while 'Peeples' disappoints in fourth

It’s all about glitz and iron this weekend at the domestic box office as “Iron Man 3″ in its soph sesh and opener “The Great Gatsby” lead the pack with $19.8 million and $19.4 million from Friday, respectively.

Though it’s neck-and-neck now, the gap between the two is expected to widen significantly by Sunday, with Disney-Marvel’s threequel leading by about $10 million in the high $60 million range.

That said, Warner Bros.’ “Gatsby” is wildly outperforming pre-weekend expectations that had “Iron Man 3″ pummeling it into the $30 million range through Sunday. It will exceed that estimate by about $20 million. For a film surrounded by tentpoles (Paramount bows “Star Trek Into Darkness” next week), and with a $100 million budget after incentives to recoup, this frame is a very good start.

“Iron Man 3″ will fall about 60% from its opening weekend. Actioner has cumed $232.2 million through Friday, bringing its worldwide total to more than $795.6 million.

In fourth place, after Par’s “Pain and Gain,” Lionsgate bowed Tyler Perry’s “Peeples” Friday to $1.2 million. The laffer, which was supported by a targeted marketing effort aimed at African American women for Mother’s Day, was expected to earn an opening in the high single digits, but it’s now looking closer to about $4 million in three days.

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