Hollywood is going the distance this holiday season.
Two of the biggest movies this Christmas, “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug,” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” are close to three hours in length, according to studio sources.
Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” sequel is 2 hours and 40 minutes while the official running time of Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Wall Street” is a howling 2 hours and 59 minutes, the longest film of Scorsese’s career.
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” co-starring Jonah Hill, opens Christmas Day.
“It’s a very fast movie,” Terrence Winter recently assured of the R-rated film, while one Paramount exec described it as “nutty, debaucherous, great.”
The gangly running times, despite cutting into moviegoers’ holiday festivities, don’t seem to bother showbiz execs.
Warner Bros. and New Line’s first “Hobbit” film was 20 minutes longer than next month’s “Desolation of Smaug” and went on to earn a whopping $1 billion worldwide in ticket sales. Similarly, Scorsese’s 2003 film “The Aviator,” which ran 2 hours and 48 minutes, achieved box office success with over $102 million domestically.
“If these were original properties with no-name talent, then it’s a different story,” one rival exec said. “I wouldn’t worry.”
In fact, “Hobbit” and DiCaprio fans will get off easy compared to those planning to see Lars von Trier’s upcoming sex epic “Nymphomaniac” next year.
The “Melancholia” director’s new movie, starring Shia LeBeouf and Charlotte Gainsbourg, is over four hours long…and that’s just the edited version. A five-and-a-half hour cut, with additional explicit sex scenes, is expected to arrive in two parts shortly after its 2014 release.
“The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug,” the second of three planned films based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book, opens Dec. 13 nationwide.