'The Great Gatsby' 2013: Second Best Leonardo DiCaprio Debut Ever?

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie'The Great Gatsby' 2013 with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie box office: DiCaprio's second biggest opening ever – but trailing Titanic in ticket sales

May 13, '13, update: The Great Gatsby movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel earned $50.08m at the North American box office this past weekend, including $3.25 million from late Thursday night showings, according to weekend box office actuals found at Boxofficemojo.com. Despite mostly poor reviews – The Great Gatsby has a 32 percent approval rating and 5.6/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – the Baz Luhrmann-directed take on the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan's Daisy Buchanan far surpassed the expectations of both distributor Warner Bros. and box office pundits. In fact, The Great Gatsby trailed only Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 3, which collected $72.52 million at the domestic box office this past weekend. (Image: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.)

Partly thanks to 3D surcharges and a strong female contingent of ticket-buyers, The Great Gatsby currently boasts 2013's third biggest opening weekend, behind only Iron Man 3 ($174.14 million) and Sam Raimi / James Franco's Oz the Great and Powerful ($79.11 million). Rounding out this year's top-five opening weekends are Channing Tatum / Dwayne Johnson's G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($40.5 million) and Joseph Kosinski / Tom Cruise's Oblivion ($37.05 million). Oblivion is the only top-five movie that is not in 3D.

Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby cost a reported $105 million, after rebates. The film's actual cost – not including prints and advertising (or top talent's future slices of the box office pie) – ranges between $160-$200 million, depending on the source.

The Great Gatsby movie: Leonardo DiCaprio's second biggest opening weekend ever – in box office grosses

Even factoring in inflation, The Great Gatsby had the second biggest opening weekend ever for a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The no. 1 DiCaprio star vehicle remains Christopher Nolan's special-effects-laden Inception, which debuted in summer 2010 with $62.78 million (approx. $64 million today).

For comparison's sake, Quentin Tarantino's R-rated Django Unchained, co-starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, opened with $30.12 million (2012); Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar with $11.21 million (2011); Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island with $41.06 million (2010); Ridley Scott's Body of Lies (2008), co-starring Russell Crowe, with $12.88 million; and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can with $30.05 million in 2002, or approximately $41m in 2013 dollars. In fact, on its opening weekend The Great Gatsby brought in more than J. Edgar, Body of Lies, and the Leonardo DiCaprio / Kate Winslet combo Revolutionary Road (2008) scored during each of these films' entire inflation-adjusted run.

Now, remember: unlike previous Leonardo DiCaprio movies, The Great Gatsby's opening weekend box office figures include late Thursday showings. Additionally, The Great Gatsby is in 3D, which can inflate movie-ticket costs by up to 40 percent.

Leonardo DiCaprio movies: The Great Gatsby vs. Titanic

James Cameron's Titanic, co-starring Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart, pulled in $28.63 million in late 1997 – or the equivalent of approximately $49.5 million in 2013 dollars. With the assistance of late Thursday showings, The Great Gatsby's domestic opening weekend ended up ahead of Titanic. Yet, Thursday showings or not, Leonardo DiCaprio's latest release undoubtedly sold fewer tickets than Cameron's multiple Oscar-winning love story. How so? Remember, prior to its recent rerelease, Titanic was a 2D movie; hence, no movie-ticket surcharges.

Also worth noting is that The Great Gatsby has far surpassed Baz Luhrmann's previous official North American opening-weekend record holder, the Nicole Kidman / Hugh Jackman romantic drama Australia, which grossed $14.8 million in its first three days out in 2008. If inflation is taken into account, Luhrmann's biggest domestic debut came courtesy of Romeo + Juliet, starring DiCaprio himself and Claire Danes, which brought in $11.13 million when it opened in 1996, or approximately $20 million today. Either way, The Great Gatsby is clearly Luhrmann's opening-weekend box office champ.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan topline The Great Gatsby movie cast

Besides three-time Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond) and 2009 Best Actress Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education), Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby movie features former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, and Zero Dark Thirty actors Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke.

Also in the Great Gatsby cast: Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Callan McAuliffe, Max Cullen, Gemma Ward, Barry Otto, Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, and veteran Jack Thompson. The 2013 The Great Gatsby script was written by Luhrmann and his frequent collaborator Craig Pearce, among whose non-Luhrmann movie credits is the Zac Efron vehicle Charlie St. Cloud.

The previous big-screen versions of The Great Gatsby are the following: Herbert Brenon's in 1926, now a lost film, starring future Best Actor Academy Award winner Warner Baxter (In Old Arizona) and Lois Wilson; Elliott Nugent's in 1949, with Alan Ladd and Betty Field; and Jack Clayton's in 1974, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby movie photo: Warner Bros.

May 11

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie Carey MulliganLeonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie weekend box office: DiCaprio's second biggest opening ever? (Image: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby, with Carey Mulligan)

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1920s novel. A risky move? Well, if so, it has clearly paid off. Although The Great Gatsby will not top the North American box office this weekend, it'll land in a remarkably (and surprisingly) strong second slot. (Image: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby movie adaptation, with Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan.)

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 3 will easily lead the domestic box office charge with approximately $65-70m, after plummeting 71 percent on Friday, compared to the previous week. True, opening-day Friday also included the box office take from Thursday late night showings, but, for comparison's sake, The Avengers was down 64 percent during that same time frame.

So, this weekend's real box office story is that of the no. 2 movie, The Great Gatsby: with the assistance of 3D surcharges and reportedly a sizable chunk of female ticket-buyers, the fourth big-screen version of Fitzgerald's novel debuted with a highly impressive $19.4 million at 3,535 North American locations on Friday, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Note: That figure includes $3.25 million from late Thursday night showings.

Such a solid Friday opening indicates a weekend gross around $50-52 million. If that figure is on target, The Great Gatsby will have 2013's third biggest opening weekend, behind only Iron Man 3 ($174.14m) and Sam Raimi / James Franco's Oz the Great and Powerful ($79.11m) – both, unlike The Great Gatsby (despite the funky Billboard-hit soundtrack), aimed at teenagers and children.

Also of note, The Great Gatsby will open ahead of two other such movies targeting adolescents and kids, Channing Tatum / Dwayne Johnson's G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($40.5m) and Joseph Kosinski / Tom Cruise's Oblivion ($37.05m). Oblivion is the only one among those five 2013 releases that is not in 3D.

The Great Gatsby cost a reported $105 million, after rebates. The film's actual cost ranges between $160-$200m, depending on the source.

The Great Gatsby movie: Leonardo DiCaprio's second biggest opening weekend ever?

In case The Great Gatsby truly earns $50 million or more by Sunday evening, it'll deliver Leonardo DiCaprio's second-highest opening weekend ever – even factoring in inflation. Only Christopher Nolan's special-effects-laden Inception, which debuted in summer 2010 with $62.78 million (approx. $64 million today) remains unbeatable.

For comparison's sake, Quentin Tarantino's R-rated Django Unchained opened with $30.12m; Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar with $11.21m; Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island with $41.06m; Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, co-starring Russell Crowe, with $12.88m; and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can with $30.05 million in 2002, or approx. $41 million adjusted. In fact, on opening weekend The Great Gatsby will have grossed more than J. Edgar, Revolutionary Road, and Body of Lies collected during each of these films' entire inflation-adjusted run.

Now, there are a couple of things that one has to bear in mind. First of all, The Great Gatsby's weekend box office figures also include late Thursday showings, a luxury not afforded previous DiCaprio movies. Second, The Great Gatsby is in 3D – which moviegoers can enjoy if they pay up to 40 percent above regular movie-ticket prices.

And that leads us to Titanic. James Cameron's iceberg love story co-starring Kate Winslet took in $28.63 million in late 1997 – or about $49.5 million in 2013 dollars. It's a close call. The Great Gatsby will likely surpass Titanic in terms of opening-weekend box office grosses (with the assistance of Thursday showings), but will undoubtedly trail the sinking-ship movie in actual number of tickets sold.

Additionally, The Great Gatsby will far surpass Baz Luhrmann's previous U.S. and Canada opening-weekend record holder, the Hugh Jackman / Nicole Kidman romantic drama Australia, which debuted with $14.8 million in 2008. Now, if inflation is taken into account (as it always should), Luhrmann's biggest North American debut was that of Romeo + Juliet, starring DiCaprio himself and Claire Danes, which brought in $11.13 million on its debut weekend in 1996, or approximately $20 million today.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan head The Great Gatsby movie cast

In addition to three-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond) and Carey Mulligan (2009 Best Actress Oscar nominee for An Education), The Great Gatsby movie features former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, and Zero Dark Thirty's Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke.

Also: Isla Fisher, Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, Elizabeth Debicki, Callan McAuliffe, Max Cullen, Gemma Ward, Barry Otto, and veteran Jack Thompson (Breaker Morant, The Assassination of Richard Nixon). Baz Luhrmann and frequent collaborator Craig Pearce (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, besides the non-Luhrmann Zac Efron movie Charlie St. Cloud) co-wrote the 2013 The Great Gatsby screenplay.

And these are the previous big-screen versions of The Great Gatsby: Herbert Brenon's in 1926, starring Warner Baxter and Lois Wilson; Elliott Nugent's in 1949, with Alan Ladd and Betty Field; and Jack Clayton's poorly received 1974 try-out, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

The Great Gatsby movie launches the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie photo: Warner Bros.

May 11 early a.m.

The Great Gatsby 2013 movie Leonardo DiCaprioThe Great Gatsby 2013 movie box office: Way overperforming? (Image: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby)

The Great Gatsby 2013 movie adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan will not top the North American box office this weekend. That's the not-so-good news. But then again, no one was expecting The Great Gatsby to soar past Robert Downey Jr's special-effects-laden Iron Man 3. True, both movies are in 3D, but … maybe if Jay Gatsby's hair gel were capable of blowing up all of New England or something, then it'd have had a chance.

Now, the (really) good news: The Great Gatsby, with the assistance of 3D surcharges and a large percentage of female ticket-buyers, may open north of $50 million at 3,525 North American locations, according to early, rough estimates found at Deadline.com. As per Deadline's “sources,” The Great Gatsby may reach $18m-$22 million (admittedly, a wide range) on Friday, including $3.25 million from late Thursday night showings. That could translate anywhere between $50-55 million by Sunday evening.

If those early estimates are on target, The Great Gatsby will beat not only distributor Warner Bros.' forecasts, but those of most pundits as well, who had been expecting at most $40 million – and that was already a marked “overperformance.”

This latest adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1920s novel will also beat Baz Luhrmann's previous North American opening-weekend record holder, the Hugh Jackman / Nicole Kidman romantic drama Australia, which debuted with $14.8 million in 2008 – that is, if you choose to ignore inflation. Taking that into account, Luhrmann's biggest U.S. and Canada opening weekend belongs to Romeo + Juliet, perhaps not coincidentally a grooved-up version of another old English-language literary work, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a passionate lover (here Claire Danes plays DiCaprio's romantic interest) . Romeo + Juliet took in $11.13 million on its debut weekend in 1996, or approximately $20 million today.

The Great Gatsby 2013 budget

Warner Bros., which co-financed The Great Gatsby with the Australian media company Village Roadshow, claims the film's actual budget was $160m, later reduced to $105 million thanks to subsidies. Other sources have it as high as $200m, later sliced to $105 million after rebates. Either way, that's a hefty price tag for a period love story, the likes of which (well, not quite the likes of which), most filmmakers must get done – if they're lucky – with about 1/10th of that figure.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan topline The Great Gatsby 2013 cast

Besides three-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond) and Carey Mulligan (2009 Best Actress Oscar nominee for An Education), The Great Gatsby 2013 cast includes former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, Animal Kingdom's Joel Edgerton, and Zero Dark Thirty's Jason Clarke.

Also: Isla Fisher, Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, Elizabeth Debicki, Max Cullen, Callan McAuliffe, Barry Otto, Gemma Ward, and veteran Australian actor Jack Thompson (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Breaker Morant). Baz Luhrmann and frequent collaborator Craig Pearce (another Romeo + Juliet link) co-wrote the 2013 The Great Gatsby.

Previous big-screen versions of The Great Gatsby are the following: Herbert Brenon's 1926 adaptation, starring Warner Baxter and Lois Wilson; Elliott Nugent's 1949 version, with Alan Ladd and Betty Field; and Jack Clayton's poorly received 1974 remake, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

The Great Gatsby 2013 opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby 2013 movie photo: Warner Bros.

'The Great Gatsby' 2013: Second Best Leonardo DiCaprio Debut Ever? © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about ''The Great Gatsby' 2013: Second Best Leonardo DiCaprio Debut Ever?'

COMMENTING RULES:

Don't waste time and energy disagreeing with and/or being deeply offended by the presentation of factual information.

On the other hand, it's perfectly okay to disagree with and/or, if you're so inclined, to be deeply offended by the views & opinions (and/or likes & dislikes) found on this site. And to let us know about any omissions or, heaven forbid, errors.

Just bear in mind that *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative.

In other words: Feel free to add something reasonable & coherent – AND fact-based – to the discussion.

Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped and offenders may be banned.

And finally, links found in comments will generally be deleted.

Most recent comments listed on top.

2 Comments to 'The Great Gatsby' 2013: Second Best Leonardo DiCaprio Debut Ever?

  1. sydney

    I Loved Baz' interpretation of Fitzerald's classic American novel! Amazing screenplay and much better made than the previous Gatsby take!

  2. amy lindsey

    richard carter also appears in the great Gatsby he has appeared in other warner films ie babe 1 and 2 happy feet 1&2 and the upcoming mad max fury road