Baz scores with The Great Gatsby

31 May, 2013 by Don Groves

After weeks of relentless hype following the US premiere and the glitzy launch in Cannes, the big question is: How will Australian audiences respond to The Great Gatsby?

With a lot of enthusiasm, judging by the film’s $1.15 million opening day tally on 569 screens on Thursday. That positions Baz Luhrmann’s reinterpretation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel to rake in about $6 million in its first four days.


While some films (eg The Hangover Part III) burn out quickly and finish up earning about 2.5 times their opening weekend, Gatsby looks set to benefit from mostly positive word of mouth and laudatory reviews.

Some exhibitors predict the Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow Pictures co-production will wind up grossing $25 million- $30 million in Australia.

B.O. prognostications are far from an exact science so the upside could be even higher, although Fast & Furious 6, which opens next Thursday, may prove to be strong competition given that young females make up a fair chunk of that franchise’s fan base. 

Luhrmann’s previous film Australia grossed $37.5 million despite a critical mauling. But the period romance/adventure resonated exceptionally strongly with audiences in rural and regional Australia, whereas the Gatsby remake may prove to be more of a big city-suburban drawcard.

Given that Gatsby has already amassed more than $US121 million in the US and $85 million in foreign territories, Australian taxpayers may well feel their contributions to the budget via the 40 per cent producer offset wasn’t a bad investment.