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Whisper Numbers: The Great Gatsby not as rich as Tony Stark

Two new films will counter the box office dominated by the blockbuster Iron Man 3 [IRNM3] by targeting other segments of moviegoers. The Marvel threequel should easily repeat in first place after the second best opening of all times at $174.1 million. The universally praised The Avengers declined 50% last year, while the widely panned Iron Man 2 dropped 59% during their respectively second weekend. While the reception to Iron Man 3 has been more favorable than the first sequel, the debut is likely to be front-loaded due to the popularity coming off The Avengers. Iron Man 3 may power down 56% to about $75 million.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of American excess of the 1920s, The Great Gatsby [GATSB] gets a lavish 3D interpretation from Australia director Baz Luhrman [BLUHR]. Leonardo DiCaprio [LDCAP] stars as the titled millionaire joined by Carey Mulligan [CMULL] as his lost love Daisy and Tobey Maguire [TMAGU] as the narrator Nick. Originally set to open last December during award season, the PG-13 rated film’s move to the summer season surprised some folks. However, Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! opened in May of 2001 and became a sleeper hit. Similar to Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby is filled with modern songs by contemporary artists that has attracted young moviegoers who probably had no interest in the book. The Great Gatsby seemed like an odd subject for 3D at first, but Life of Pi has shown there’s demand from adults for 3D films that’s not just animated, sci-fi or fantasy. The month of May also lacks other tentpole releases targeted at women and Mother’s Day on Sunday could help goose admissions. Strong trackings and advanced tickets sales are proving that Warner Bros. made the right choice. DiCaprio is coming off the popular Django Unchained, and has demonstrated he can opened a film to $41 million with Shutter Island in Feburary of 2010. Playing in 3535 theaters, The Great Gatsby could party to the tune of $40 million.

Lionsgate targets the African-American audience with Tyler Perry Presents Peeples [WEPEP]. Although the multi-hyphenate is billed in the title, Perry only produced the PG-13 rated comedy and did not direct or star. Craig Robinson [CROBI] gets his first lead role as a man trying to win over the family of his fiancé, played by Kerry Washington [KWASH]. Neither have much of a fanbase. The similar themed Jumping the Broom managed a $15 million debut a couple of Mays ago. Peeples could gather $13 million from 2041 theaters.

After earning more than $5 million from 2 weeks of limited release, Mud [MUD] expands wide into 853 theaters. Matthew McConaughey [MMCCO] continues his dramatic comeback in the PG-13 rated indie releases by Roadside Attractions. With good reviews that should bring out the discerning crowd, Mud could muster $3 million.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 03:36 PM 2812 views

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