TheWrap‘s Lucas Shaw is saying that The Great Gatsby opened well last weekend ($51 million) and is expected to hold strongly this weekend because (a) general audiences don’t care about the mixed or troubled advance buzz, (b) their responses to Baz Luhrman‘s film, as implied by Rotten Tomatoes ratings, are significantly more positive than those of the critics, and (c) Gatsby is serving an older female audience that is otherwise being ignored with all the comic-book superhero CG action crap that the studios always serve in May-June-July.
But here’s a fourth factor: Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Gatsby is a touching figure. He’s such a clueless romantic in a sense — so constipated and totally persuaded by the importance of appearances and so in love with Daisy and yet so delusional about her true nature that your heart goes out to him. He’s so far from getting it that you want to take him aside and give him a pep talk and maybe offer some advice. You feel for him. Which is more than you can say for Robert Downey‘s Tony Stark.