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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and More Battle It Out

Paramount

Although you’d think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $29,850,000 (-5.3) $7,599 $190,304,000
2 Frozen $28,845,000 (+46.9) $8,649 $248,366,000
3 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues $20,150,000 (-24.7) $5,746 $83,667,000
4 American Hustle $19,550,000 (+2.3) $7,798 $60,035,000
5 The Wolf of Wall Street $18,510,000
$7,296 $34,302,000
6 Saving Mr. Banks $14,021,000 (+50.0) $6,645 $37,844,000
7 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty $13,000,000 $4,469 $25,595,000
8 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $10,200,000 (+16.4) $4,406 $391,124,000
9 47 Ronin $9,869,000 $3,670 $20,572,000
10 A Madea Christmas $7,400,000 (-11.7) $4,139 $43,719,000

Let’s start with the winners, shall we?

In a bit of a surprise, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug‘ held onto the number one spot and only took a minuscule 5% drop, earning $29 million for a current total of $190 million. It’s still looking unlikely that it will match the business of its predecessors, but after the subpar opening weekend, this is a nice change of pace. Apparently everyone was waiting for the holiday break to catch up with this one.

Even more impressive is ‘Frozen,’ which jumped up an astonishing 46% to nab another $28 million, bringing its total to $248 million. The scientific term for this film’s box office is “crazy-pants.” Few films in recent memory have showcased legs as strong as this. Could it reach $300 million? Two weeks ago, we would have said no, but it’s now starting to look like a very strong possibility.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues‘ also showed off its endurance in its second week, dipping a small 24% and banking $20 million. With $83 million earned, it has effortlessly matched the gross of the first film and it should easily break $100 million in the next week or so before tapping out somewhere north of $150 million.

And let’s not forget about ‘American Hustle,’ which held on strong after moving into wide release last week, taking in $19 million for a $60 million total. Not bad for an R-rated crime comedy at Christmastime!

Speaking of R-rated crime comedies at Christmastime, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘ also opened well (but not extremely well), grossing $18 million over the weekend but $16 million over the week, bringing it to a five-day total of $34 million. Calculating whether or not a Wednesday-opener opened well can be tricky, but for a three-hour movie about Wall Street debauchery, this is a win.

In a big recovery from last week, ‘Saving Mr. Banks‘ skyrocketed 50% thanks to the holiday bump, grossing $14 million for a $37 million total. What looked like a disappointment last week is not looking like a sleeper hit.

And the last of the winners is ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ with $10 million, bringing its grand total so far to $391 million. That means that it’s now less than $20 million from being the highest grossing film of 2013. The race is on!

But the holiday box office wasn’t all hits. With so much business and so many movies to choose from, a few were bound to fall through the cracks. Although not disastrous, the $13 million weekend (and $25 million week) for ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty‘ is a rough start for a movie that looked destined to be a crowd-pleaser. Less surprising is the $9 million (and $20 million week) for ‘47 Ronin,’ which smelled like a disaster from the first trailer. Other new releases suffered outside of the top 10, with ‘Grudge Match’ and ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ both getting crushed by the competition.

The doldrums of January begin next week, so this is probably one of the last exciting weekends at the box office for a while. Cherish it.

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