'Gatsby' Shows Great Form in U.S.;

Warner Bros. film fueled by female moviegoing in the U.S., while 'Man' reigns overseas

Warner Bros.’ release of the Baz Luhrmann 3D spectacle “The Great Gatsby” proved there’s more to summer moviegoing than just superheroes and sequels, scoring a glitzy $51.1 million opening estimate. But the film was no match for Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which held on to the top spot with a projected $72.5 million soph-sesh gross.

Iron Man 3″ still reigns supreme internationally, grossing $89.3 million in its third weekend. The film is poised to hit $1 billion by early this week, with a sensational $949 million worldwide cume through Sunday.

“Great Gatsby,” which was co-produced and co-financed by Village Roadshow for roughly $100 million, overperformed largely because of its 59% turnout among women, a demographic that has been underserved lately. Also, Warners is anticipating a conservative 20% drop on Sunday driven by Mother’s Day moviegoing.

The combined B.O. might of “Iron Man” and “Great Gatsby” kept overall totals from slipping too far behind this time last year (down approximately 7%), when “The Avengers” won its second set with north of $100 million.

“Iron Man 3,” which scored the second-highest domestic bow ever last weekend, dropped an OK 58%, for a Stateside cume of $284.9 million. The film likely was affected by “Gatsby” as the film drew away femmes, with a considerable male turnout, at 41%.

Also big overseas, Paramount launched “Star Trek Into Darkness” a week early in seven markets where it estimated $31.7 million, a 70% increase over the last “Star Trek.” A combined total of $26.4 million from the largest markets — Australia, Germany and the U.K. — was up 56% collectively, as well. Par launched the film early in those territories two weeks after “Iron Man” and a week before “Gatsby.”

Imax contributed $2.3 million for “Star Trek” on just 57 screens.

“Gatsby,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton, kickstarts its international run next weekend in 49 territories, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, South Korea and the U.K. Warners hopes to capitalize on buzz surrounding the film opening the Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Domestically, the film struggled in 3D, which contributed just 33% of the opening. Observers were hoping for a share north of 40%.

Dan Fellman, prexy of domestic distribution at Warners, attributed the soft percentage to the film skewing largely female, a demographic more discerning of 3D. But Fellman added that playability from younger auds, who are more accepting of the format, could boost the pic’s 3D share in the coming weeks.

“If you analyze the breakdown of the audience, the younger we go the better the film performed,” Fellman said. “Gatsby,” which scored an overall ‘B’ CinemaScore rating, received an ‘A-‘ from filmgoers under 25.

Scoring ‘Gatsby’ Campaign

Fellman said he felt the popularity of the film’s soundtrack has helped drive appeal among younger moviegoers, in particular.

Warners highlighted the film’s music early on in its marketing campaign, featuring in trailers songs by Lana Del Rey (“Young and Beautiful”) and Florence + the Machine (“Over the Love”). The album, which has stayed at No. 1 on iTunes since launching May 7, features 18 artists with original songs from Beyonce Knowles, Fergie, Jay-Z and Jack White.

“I think the music in the trailers is indicative of the broadness of styles that we’re applying in the film,” “Gatsby” music supervisor Anton Monsted told Variety last month.

Warners and the music labels worked to create specific campaigns for the various artists appealing to their individual fanbases. The Florence camp, for instance, took a vastly different approach targeting its fans than Fergie and her team did with the summer dance record, “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.”

Lionsgate, meanwhile, discovered this weekend the fallibility of Tyler Perry (as a producer, at least), whose presentation of comedy “Peeples” disappointed with an estimated $4.9 million through Sunday. The film was expected to land somewhere in the high-single digits domestically.

At the specialty box office, Roadside Attractions launched Sarah Polley’s personal docu “Stories We Tell” at two New York locations, where it averaged a solid $15,500 per screen. The film saw a dramatic 172% Friday-to-Saturday increase, driven by stellar reviews and word-of-mouth, especially for a documentary. Pic expands Friday to 20 locations.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Iron Man 3 (2): $72.5; 4,253; $17,040; $284.9; -58%
  2. The Great Gatsby (1): $51.1; 3,535; $14,460; $51.1; –
  3. Pain and Gain (3): $5.0; 3,303; $1,514; $41.6; -33%
  4. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples (1): $4.9; 2,041; $2,376; $4.9; –
  5. 42 (5): $4.7; 2,930; $1,587; $84.7; -23%
  6. Oblivion (4): $3.9; 2,770; $1,395; $81.7; -32%
  7. The Croods (8): $3.6; $2,650; $1,358; $173.2; -14%
  8. The Big Wedding (3): $2.5; 2,298; $1,088; $18.3; -36%
  9. Mud (3): $2.3; 854; $2,764; $8.4; +8%
  10. Oz the Great and Powerful (10): $.8; 774; $1,037; $230.0; -62%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Iron Man 3 (3): $89.3; 55; n/a; $664.1; $949.0; -49%
  2. Star Trek Into Darkness (1): $31.7; 7; 2,227; $31.7; $31.7; –
  3. The Croods (8): $17.3; 43; 8,132; $363.2; $536.4; +4%
  4. Oblivion (5): $11.7; 62; 9,000; $160.9; $242.5; +89%
  5. Evil Dead (6): $2.6; 43; 1,305; $20.3; $73.8; +160%

*in millions of $

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Comments 4