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Iron Man 3 Poster with Robert Downey, Jr.

Box Office Report: Iron Man 3 Leads With $72.5M, Gatsby Grabs Second

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Iron Man 3

“The Great Gatsby” grabbed second place at the box office this weekend, but that’s by no means an epic fail. Warner Bros. adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel debuted with $51.1 million debut. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to take down Disney’s superhero, “Iron Man 3,” which topped the box office for a second weekend with $72.5 million.

Last weekend, “Iron Man 3″ (read my review here) scored the second best opening of all time with $174.1 million. This weekend it fell 58 percent, which is a slimmer drop than “Iron Man 2″ (59 percent), but a heftier one than “The Avengers” (50 percent).

To break down “Iron Man 3′s” gigantic second weekend, that’s an average of $17,400 per theater in 4,253 locations, which lifted its domestic box office total to $284.9 million after just ten days. Yeah, I’m guessing there will be more “Iron Man” movies.

The film’s doing well internationally, too. The Marvel title, which had a budget of $200 million, has now earned $664.1 million overseas, led by massive earnings in Asia. The movie’s top two international markets are currently China ($95.3 million) and Korea ($54.1 million), and it’s become the highest grossing film of all time in both Indonesia and Malaysia. Worldwide, “Iron Man 3″ has grossed $949 million, and will likely surpass $1 billion sometime this week. Holy smokes!

In second place, Baz Luhrmann’s roaring ’20s drama “The Great Gatsby” took in $51.1 million — the third best opening weekend ever for a film that didn’t hit number one. In 2004, “The Day After Tomorrow” premiered with $68.7 million, trailing “Shrek 2.” In 2009, “Sherlock Holmes” opened with $62.3 million in second place to “Avatar.”

That’s good enough for Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution. “This exceeded all our expectations.” he said, adding that the film’s Jay-Z curated soundtrack helped, but mostly it came down to something else. “Three little letters: L-E-O.”

While “Iron Man 3″ featured a mostly male audience, “Gatsby” played to a core demographic of adult women. According to Warner Bros., ticket-buyers were 59 percent female, and 69 percent were above the age of 25. Note that only 33 percent of ticket sales were for 3D showtimes. Called that one.

“Gatsby” also marks a career high point for Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Before this weekend, the filmmaker’s best opening weekend belonged to the sweeping epic “Australia,” which opened with $14.8 million in 2008.

Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” came in third with $5 million, marking a slim 33 percent drop. The Paramount film, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, has now earned $41.6 million against a slim $26 million budget. I haven’t seen it, but my brother and his wife saw it last night and said it was awful. Yep, they used that word: “awful.”

Tyler Perry’s latest producing effort, “Peeples,” bombed in fourth place with $4.9 million from 2,041 theaters, making it the first misfire in the “Tyler Perry Rules the Universe” brand. Maybe that’s because Perry only produced the movie, whereas he typically writes, directs and/or stars in his films. Even fan fave Kerry Washington from ABC’s “Scandal” couldn’t bring in crowds.

“42″ (read my review here), now in its fifth weekend, nearly surpassed “Peeples” with $4.7 million, bringing its total to $84.7 million so far. Here’s how the numbers shake out:

  1. “Iron Man 3″ – $72.5 million
  2. “The Great Gatsby” - $51.1 million
  3. “Pain & Gain” – $5 million
  4. “Peeples” – $4.9 million
  5. “42″ – $4.7 million

We’ll see how “Star Trek Into Darkness” shakes out next weekend. It’s already earned an impressive $31 million from just seven international territories this weekend.

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more. Follow her on Twitter at @reellifejane.

Jane Boursaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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