(USA Today) -- Gatsby was great, but he couldn't dent Iron Man's box-office armor.
Despite a debut $20 million above expectations, Leonardo DiCaprio's The Great Gatsby had to settle for an impressive second place as Iron Man 3 held onto the top spot at the box office for the second straight weekend.
Iron Man 3 collected $72.5 million, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com. The haul marked a hefty drop from its debut last week of $174.1 million, the second-largest opening on record. But it was plenty enough to hold off Gatsby and bring the $200 million film's domestic haul to $284.9 million.
Gatsby, meanwhile, enjoyed the surprise debut of 2013 with $51.1 million, good for second place. Analysts projected the F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation would do $30 million. And critics didn't give it much notice: Just 47% of reviewers gave it a thumbs-up, according to Rottentomatoes.com. But 84% of fans liked the film, the site says, upending forecasts.
"The shock of the weekend is that Leonardo DiCaprio's The Great Gatsby almost achieved a box-office upset for the ages," says David Mumpower of Boxofficeprophets.com. "One of those boring novels that no one wanted to read in high-school English almost ended Iron Man 3's" reign over the box office.
Michael Bay's action-comedy Pain & Gain was third with $5 million, followed by Tyler Perry Presents Peeples with $4.9 million. The debut fell well below projections, which hovered around $13 million. The Jackie Robinson drama 42 rounded out the top five with $4.7 million.
Final figures are expected Monday.