Warner Bros.' and director Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby got off to a huge start on Friday with an estimated $19.4 million in the bank (including some late Thursday evening shows). That exceeded expectations that were already increasingly high going into the day. In fact, the film's opening day represents a higher figure than the wide release weekends of any Luhrmann film to date (Australia's $14.8 million, Moulin Rouge!'s $13.7 million, and Romeo + Juliet's $11.1 million). BoxOffice is projecting an excellent $52.5 million weekend debut, proving that strategic counter-programming can still buck the curse of May's second weekend.
Disney's Iron Man 3 still reigned, though, with $19.757 million on Friday. That figure is down 71.3 percent from the film's opening Friday, but the drop is slightly inflated by Thursday's late night shows being rolled into the Friday number last week. Through eight days of release, Iron Man 3 has amassed $232.178 million and has earned the sixth best ever 8-day domestic total. We're projecting a $70 million sophomore frame.
Peeples didn't fare so well in its opening with a $1.185 million Friday take. Most signs pointed to a much better debut for the comedy before Friday--largely due to Tyler Perry's name being attached (though he didn't star or direct). BoxOffice projects a $4.0 million weekend.
Meanwhile, 42 continued to hold well with a Friday-to-Friday drop of less than 37 percent. The hit Jackie Robinson biopic earned another $1.11 million yesterday, increasing its domestic total to an impressive $81.192 million. The film is on target for a $4.1 million weekend.
Paramount's Pain and Gain showed some stabilization with a 43.9 percent drop from its second Friday. The Michael Bay pic grossed $1.32 million yesterday and is projected to rake in $4.5 million in its third weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.