With its glitzy opening night premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last week, "The Great Gatsby" arrived overseas with a splash. Or at least that's what Warner Bros. was hoping for as the movie played for the festival crowd days before it debuted in many European theaters and beyond.
After opening the movie in the U.S. on May 10, the studio sent the film's stars to France to promote the picture's international bow. On the red carpet outside Cannes' Palais des Festivals last Wednesday, May 15, Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio posed for the shutterbugs as rain fell -- the umbrellas somehow only adding to the old-school glamour. Later, at an after-hours party, shiny tinsel showered tuxedo-clad guests.
Sure, it all looked pretty. But did the marketing efforts actually pay off at the box office? Just maybe.
Over the weekend, Baz Luhrmann's 3-D film played in 49 foreign markets and collected $42.1 million, according to an estimate from Warner Bros. That's a respectable launch for a period film -- especially one up against special-effects behemoths like "Iron Man 3" and "Star Trek Into Darkness." In fact, "Gatsby" made more overseas this weekend than any film -- though both the "Iron Man" movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and J.J. Abrams' sci-fi flick have been in international theaters for weeks.
"Gatsby" performed best in Russia, where it sold $6.2 million worth of tickets, and it also showed strength in Britain. France ranked as the third-highest international market for the film with a $3.6 million gross.
The film will debut later this month in Mexico and Australia, where director Baz Luhrmann hails from, and in Japan and Brazil in June.
In the U.S. this weekend, "Gatsby" saw its ticket sales fall 53% from opening weekend to $23.4 million, bringing its domestic total to $90.2 million.
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