‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ top Christmas Box Office

Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug

Leading the Christmas Day derby, Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” collected $9.3 million, followed closely by Paramount’s newcomer “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which grossed $9.2 million opening day.

The crowded holiday fray has no fewer than eight films bowing or expanding nationwide through Friday, including “Wolf,” as well as Fox’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which landed in forth place on Wednesday, grossing $7.8 million (behind “Anchorman 2,” with $8.1 million).

Also bowing midweek were Universal’s “47 Ronin” and Warner’s “Grudge Match,” which made $7 million and $4 million, respectively.

Neither is a solid start, especially for the former film, which looks to be a big financial flop given its lofty $175 million-plus budget. That said, “Ronin” received a better-than-expected ‘B+’ CinemaScore rating. Pic’s international prospects are troubling also considering it failed to catch on in Japan, where the samurai tentpole is set; it’s made $10 million overseas so far.

Despite a ‘C’ CinemaScore from audiences, Paramount’s “Wolf of Wall Street” had a strong start, particularly given its nearly three-hour runtime, limiting the number of screenings each day. “Wolf” is expected to gross somewhere in the high-$20 millions in three days, with around $40 million in five days.

“The Hobbit,” meanwhile, should see a three-day drop comparable to its predecessor last year, which fell 14% this same frame for a $31 million Friday-Sunday gross. So far, the sequel has amassed nearly $150 million domestically through Wednesday.

At slightly more than 1,000 locations, Open Road also bowed Justin Beiber’s concert docu “Believe” on Wednesday when it grossed $1.3 million.

Debuting Friday in limited release are the Weinstein Co.’s “August: Osage County” at five engagements and Par’s “Labor Day” for an exclusive one-week run at one.

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  1. We have been concerned ever since we first learned that The Wolf of Wall Street would be adapted into a movie – we had read Mr. Belfort’s book and couldn’t find any redemptive quality in it whatsoever. What benefit could a movie about this book bring to the world? We have been posting our concerns on our blog at progressiveprisonproject.org, and on Twitter at jeffgrant_ct. These concerns have been included as well as “called-out” comments by Mark Hughes in his column in Forbes.

    I went see this movie today with my sister, we both lived through a lot of the subject matter included in the book and movie. My sister visited me in prison, and has written about it on our blog. (I would not see this or any movie on Christmas Day that has been described on Twitter as “pornographic”.) My simple review of the movie is: “tragic.” It is all so tragic, every bit of it – a point that the movie glosses over as it tries so desperately to entertain. I am sure a lot of people have been, or will be, entertained by this movie. They didn’t tragically live through it, or weren’t tragically harmed by people like the people in this movie. The fact that Mr. Scorcese has avoided the real story – the tragedy – is unto itself a tragedy.

    I am grateful and relieved that America, when it found out what this movie was full of, found The Hobbit more suitable for Christmas.

    Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
    Director, Progressive Prison Project/ Innocent Spouse & Children Project
    Christ Church Greenwich
    254 East Putnam Avenue
    Greenwich, Connecticut 06830 USA

    Assoc. Minister /
    Director of Prison Ministries
    First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
    126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
    Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604

  2. AtlanticJason says:

    Wolf of Wall Street’s 9.2 million opening is certainly impressive given its theater count versus the Hobbit which is in twice the number of theaters. Hobbit is definitely playing to emptier theaters. The surprises of the day have to be the strong hold of Anchorman 2(8.1 m) and the flopping of 47 Ronin(7m) versus that $175 m budget.

  3. LOL says:

    America loves crap. Even Scorsese’s movie is a lame, $100 million soft-core romp that’s more dull than electrifying.

  4. Carole Smith says:

    Perhaps Hobbitt edged out Wolf because no children were permitted to attend Wolf.

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