Pop Culture

'Great Gatsby' exceeds expectations with $51.1 million opening

Daniel Smith / Today
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby."

Proving that an auteur-driven drama can hold its own against an action tentpole, Baz Luhrmann's effervescent "The Great Gatsby" opened to $51.1 million at the North American box office in a major win for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures.

Photo from THR: 'Great Gatsby' Premiere

"Gatsby," outpacing expectations, came in at No. 2 behind holdover "Iron Man 3," which took in $72.5 million in its second weekend for a domestic cume of $284.9 million. Overseas, the Disney and Marvel Studios goliath grossed $89.3 million for an international total of $664.1 million and worldwide haul of nearly $950 million.

Luhrmann's 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is easily the Australian director's best opening to date and also reinforces Leonardo DiCaprio's box-office prowess among the female set. The actor, playing the iconic and mysterious Jay Gatsby, stars opposite Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton.

THR cover: Baz Luhrmann's Despair, Drive and Gamble Behind 'Great Gatsby'

The stellar domestic launch bodes well for "Gatsby's" international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival's opening night on May 15.

"Gatsby" cost about $105 million after $85 million in hefty Australian locations subsidies.