'Hobbit' Holds Off 'Wolf' on Christmas Day
by Ray Subers
December 26, 2013
|The Wolf of Wall Street|| |
Five new nationwide releases reached theaters on Christmas Day, though none were quite strong enough to take first place away from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The Top 10 earned an estimated $67.3 million, which is about on par with Christmas Day 2012 ($68.1 million).
Smaug added $9.32 million, which is off 17 percent from the first Hobbit's Christmas Day ($11.2 million). Through 13 days in theaters, the second entry in the prequel trilogy has grossed just shy of $150 million.
Among new releases, The Wolf of Wall Street led the way with an estimated $9.15 million. That's a fine start, though it's much lower than last year's Django Unchained ($15 million). If Wolf follows Django's pattern from here, it will wind up with around $100 million; however, Wolf's "C" CinemaScore suggests that word-of-mouth could be a challenge.
After dropping to fourth place on Christmas Eve, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues rebounded a bit on Christmas Day. The comedy sequel took third place with an estimated $8.1 million, and has so far earned a decent $56.7 million.
Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty brought in $7.8 million at 2,909 locations. That's a bit of an improvement over 20th Century Fox's Christmas Day release from last year (Parental Guidance, $6.3 million). Mitty received a "B+" CinemaScore, and should continue to play well through the end of the holiday season.
American Hustle rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $7.4 million. Through less than a week in nationwide release, David O. Russell's acclaimed ensemble piece has grossed a very strong $34.1 million.
Universal's long-delayed, very expensive samurai flick 47 Ronin opened in sixth place with $7 million. That's a bit better than expected, though it's not necessarily indicative of long-term potential: Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem had a strong Christmas Day start in 2007 ($9.5 million), but quickly collapsed and ended its run with just $41.8 million. Ronin's word-of-mouth won't be as poor, though, and it's possible that it eventually makes its way to $50 million.
Frozen added $6.3 million on Christmas Day. To date, the animated hit has earned $210.4 million.
Christmas Day also delivered two major box office bombs. The first was Robert DeNiro/Sylvester Stallone boxing comedy Grudge Match, which opened in ninth place with less than $4 million. That wasn't nearly as bad as Justin Bieber documentary Believe, which wound up in 14th place with a horrible $1.25 million. To be fair, it was only playing at 1,037 locations, though it still suggests that the "Beliebers" aren't nearly as interested as they were two years ago when Never Say Never opened to $12.4 million.
Finally, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom expanded to 975 locations and earned $1.26 million. The biopic should hold well through the next few weeks, though it's going to need Oscar nominations to really break out.
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