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Weekend Box Office: Gatsby Is Great, but Can't Outshine Ironman 3

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By Chris Kavan - 05/12/13 at 09:06 PM CT

It runs out the rather ho-hum response from critics wasn't going to detract audiences from another Baz Luhrmann ultra-stylistic romance/drama. Of course, it probably helped that it was Mother's Day weekend and that there is no direct female competition at the box office. Still, it was Iron Man's weekend once again as the super hero continued pummeling opponents on screen and at the box office. But with Star Trek coming out - where will our hero wind up next week?

1) IRON MAN 3

Iron Man 3 took a 58.4% hit, but still stayed in first place with a $72.4 million haul. That drop was steeper than The Avengers (50%) and pretty much right in line with Iron Man 2 (59%). So far, the movie stands at $284.9 million and will break $300 million by next week and should ultimately wind up north of $400 million by the end of its run. World-wide, the film is on the verge of hitting the $1 billion mark ($949 million with domestic and foreign totals factored together). Expect it to fly passed that mark within a week or two. It has the fourth-best second-weekend total ever and is already 14th on the all-time box office list. And it's not even close to finishing up yet.

2) THE GREAT GATSBY

Despite some harsh critical response, it turns out audiences are just find with watching a flashy, stylistic film even if the substance is somewhat lacking. Leonardo DiCaprio can count Gatsby as his second-highest opening of all time (behind only Inception) as the film took in $51.1 million. That total is also the third-best for any movie opening in second place (behind Sherlock Holmes at $62.3 million and The Day After Tomorrow's $68.7 million bow). It also represents the best start for director Luhrmann and will easily pass Moulin Rouge! ($57.4 million) to become his highest-grossing film. Unsurprising, women made up 59% of the audience, which also leaned older (69% over 25). They gave is a middling "B" cinemeascore - but it should wind up with around $120 million before it runs out of steam. The film had a terrible time with 3D, however, which only accounted for 33% of the gross. I didn't even realize it was in 3D - so I blame marketing for not even trying.

3)PAIN & GAIN

Dropping a light 33.4% in its third weekend out, Michael Bay's action/crime/comedy piece added $5 million more to its total, which now tops out at $41.6 million. It should join the $50 million club in the coming weeks - doubling its original budget of $26 million.

4) PEEPLES

It turns out that for a Tyler Perry movie to be popular, Perry actual has to direct it himself. Despite his name being attached, Peeples could only muster a weak $4.85 million at the box office. The only films of the year that opened worse (in 2000 or more theaters) have been Bullet to the Head ($4.55 million) and the supremely panned Movie 42 ($4.81 million). That's not the kind of company you want to find yourself with. It's easily the worst film that Perry has been involved with as a producer - his previous low was Daddy's Little Girls, which opened to $11.2 million back in 2007. With the film garnering a "B-" cinemascore, chances are it's going to fall out of the top 10 pretty quickly.

5) 42

The biopic continued its nice run, dropping just 23.2% in its fifth weekend in theaters. Adding $4.65 million to its total, the film has grossed $84.7 million since starting its run, more than doubling its $40 million budget. With some good staying power, that $100 million mark is still looking like a reachable target.

Outside the top five: The only film to post a gain from last week was Mud. The film also jumped over the 800 theater count as well. Adding an addition 278 theaters, the movie also climbed 8.4% with a $2.34 million total (9th place) and raising its final tally to $8.36 million. Although it's not likely to grow much beyond, with word-of-mouth, it should wind up between the $15-$20 million range.

Next week, Star Trek: Into Darkness will be the second big-name blockbuster to throw its weight around. It's already making waves by outpacing its predecessor in the foreign markets - we'll see if Darkness can bring in a better domestic total as well. Just like Iron Man 3, no wide-release film is going up against the sci-fi behemoth.

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