‘Gatsby’ not great enough to top weekend box office

Former '80s casualty Robert Downey Jr. (seen with suit and kid) outpowered a film of a nearly 90 year old novel this weekend Credit: Zade Rosenthal
Former ’80s casualty Robert Downey Jr. (seen with suit and kid) outpowered a film of a nearly 90 year old novel this weekend
Credit: Zade Rosenthal

Tony Stark’s superhero antics kept the blockbuster “Iron Man 3″ on top of movie charts in the United States and Canada, beating out a strong debut over the weekend for lavish Jazz Age drama “The Great Gatsby.”

Coming off a gigantic opening a week earlier, “Iron Man 3″ commanded $72.5 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday in its second weekend. “Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as millionaire Jay Gatsby in the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale, earned a strong $51.1 million, according to studio estimates.

Domestic ticket sales for “Iron Man 3″ dropped 58 percent from a week earlier, when the film hauled in $174.1 million for the second-biggest movie opening of all time. The film from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Studios stars Robert Downey Jr. as Stark, a billionaire businessman with a superhero alter ego.

International sales for “Iron Man 3″ reached a massive $664 million through Sunday after adding $89 million from the weekend, Disney said. The film’s worldwide take now stands at $949 million.

“Gatsby” outpaced pre-weekend forecasts for an opening of up to $45 million. Directed by Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, it is the latest Hollywood rendition of Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, “The Great Gatsby.” A 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow fared poorly at the box office.

DiCaprio stars in the title role, a millionaire pining for a lost love, played by Carey Mulligan, during the height of the hedonistic 1920s. Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton also star. Rapper Jay-Z produced the soundtrack.

“We never expected to open this picture at this level,” said Dan Fellman, president of theatrical distribution for Warner Bros., the Time Warner Inc unit that distributed the film.

Fellman said the picture, which has been accorded the prestigious opening night slot at this week’s Cannes Film Festival, was now well-positioned for a long run into the summer as an alternative to traditional action movies.

The majority of ticket buyers were female by 59 percent to 41 percent, and 31 percent of ticket buyers were under age 25, Warner Bros. said.

“We’re going to have a nice, long healthy run,” he told Reuters.

DiCaprio’s performance was widely praised, but the movie, which cost about $105 million to produce, received a mixed reception from critics. As of Saturday, 48 percent of reviews recommended the film on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

But in its opening weekend, the film very nearly eclipsed the total $57.4 million take of Luhrmann’s most successful film, “Moulin Rouge,” which went on to win several Academy Awards.

Elsewhere over the weekend, dark action comedy “Pain & Gain” starring Mark Wahlberg placed a distant third with $5 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

Comedy “Peeples,” the other new nationwide release, finished fourth with $4.9 million. Produced by Tyler Perry, the film stars Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington in the story of a well-off family’s reunion that is interrupted when a man arrives to seek their daughter’s hand in marriage.

Baseball drama “42″ finished in fifth place with $4.7 million.

“Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens domestically on Wednesday, took in $31.7 million in seven international territories including Britain, Mexico, Australia and Germany, Paramount Pictures reported.

“Pain & Gain” was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. Lions Gate Entertainment distributed “Peeples,” and Warner Bros. distributed “42.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures, September 19,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on September 19, 20 and 21. There will be many streets and…

Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…