It may contain a crucial car crash scene but Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby couldn’t rival the automotive power of action sequel Fast & Furious 6 which sped past it at the British box office.
The latest instalment of Vin Diesel’s car-based franchise took more than £8.7 million on its debut weekend, more than doubling the £4.1 million total commanded by Luhrman’s glitzy film starring Leonardo DiCaprio between Thursday and Sunday night.
The box office success of Fast & Furious 6 comes despite scathing reviews from the critics. The Independent’s Anthony Quinn awarded it just one star, writing: “More musclebound meatheads in their mean machines: here's a franchise that shows every sign of living forever, or at least of remaining undead.”
The critical response to The Great Gatsby, which premiered at Cannes last week with red carpet appearances from stars DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, has not been exactly glowing, either. The Daily Telegraph’s Charles Moore called it “terribly, terribly bad” while Quinn branded it “garish” and “hyperbolic”.
Both films beat the box office performance of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness which took third place with £3.7 million takings last weekend. The follow-up to Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise has made a total of £15.6 million since it opened in the UK on 9 May.
Iron Man 3 and children’s dance movie All Stars took fourth and fifth place with £1.4 million and £200,000 respectively.