Dennis Lehane fans who were apprehensive about the film adaptation of the writer’s 2003 book can once again draw breath: the movie opened Friday to critical applause and box office records. By all accounts, Shutter Island will be an even bigger hit than the wonderful film based on Lehane’s Mystic River. From the Los Angeles Times:

Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of gothic thrills proved to be a huge draw at the box office this weekend, as Shutter Island, Paramount’s psychological thriller based on Dennis Lehane’s bestselling novel, earned $40.2 million domestically, according to the studio.

The number is the best-ever opening for director Scorsese and star DiCaprio, the latter of whom had reached the $30-million mark only once (with Catch Me If You Can, more than seven years ago). Many box-office experts had predicted an opening in the low-mid $30s, with any gross over $35 million considered a notable success.

January Magazine’s 2003 review of Shutter Island is here. We’ve run two exclusive interviews with Lehane: in 1999 and 2001.

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