Billed by China Daily as an “all-American tale of decadence, idealism and social upheaval,“ The Great Gatsby opened in Chinese cinemas on August 30, earning 27 million yuan ($A4.8 million) in its first three days.

That’s a healthy figure but way below Jurassic Park 3D, which pocketed $18 million in its second weekend, according to the Xinhua news agency. Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur epic has raked in more than $54 million thus far in China.

Director Baz Luhrmann attended the red carpet Beijing premiere, where he said he was inspired to film F. Scott Fitzgerald's book while travelling on the Trans-Siberian Express in China.

"I really love to see on a mass level, what Chinese people actually think of America's greatest novel written in the time that pretty much reflects where China is now – in the sense that China has found an extraordinary moment of economic growth and changes, “ Luhrmann told China Daily.

The paper said Luhrmann's picture closely follows the novel's plot and visualises the “famous Fitzgerald narratives such as ‘men and girls came and went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars’ with exceptional taste.”

Luhrmann said he is looking at making a Chinese movie, without being specific. "I take a very long time to decide what films to make, but I'm seriously thinking about a movie set in both China and the West,” the director said according to the Hollywood Reporter. “China is an overwhelmingly exciting place, and I want to participate in what's happening."

He hinted he is talking to 20th Century Fox about converting Moulin Rouge! to 3D, which he thought would appeal to Chinese audiences.

Typifying the potential of the theatrical market in China, Xinhua reported there were 11.2 million ticket sales nationwide last weekend , equating to a box-office of $72.5 million.

The Chinese tally propels The Great Gatsby’s worldwide B.O. to approximately $US336 million.

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