Leonardo DiCaprio’s real-life character in “The Wolf of Wall Street” may have craved power and riches, but he was no match for Middle Earth’s greediest dragon over the weekend. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” held onto the top spot during the last weekend of 2013, selling another $29.9 million since Friday for a three-week total north of $190 million. Disney’s “Frozen” was a close #2 with $28.8 million.
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and “American Hustle” stayed in the Top 5, which was rounded out by “The Wolf of Wall Street.” DiCaprio’s latest collaboration with legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese played to an older audience than either of the weekend’s top two films, taking in $18.5 million ($34.3 million since Christmas Day) in roughly 2,500 theaters, or about 900 less than “Smaug.”
Awards season is likely to give “Wolf” a boost (it’s already been nominated for two Golden Globes) but there’s nothing optimistic to say about the latest movie from Scorsese’s other familiar leading man. “Grudge Match” features Robert De Niro playing a variation of his persona from Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” for laughs, alongside Sylvester Stallone, who is doing more or less the same thing with “Rocky.” Audiences rejected the movie almost as resoundingly as film critics, resulting in a $7.3 million kickoff that failed to even crack the top 10.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Grudge Match” were two of five new films that opened (or expanded nationwide) on Christmas Day.
Ben Stiller’s $90 million “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” had made just $25 million through Sunday — $13 million of it over the weekend.
Long delayed martial-arts epic “47 Ronin” carried a reported price tag near $200 million, but opened with even less than the summer’s $215 million box-office bomb “The Lone Ranger.” The poorly reviewed Keanu Reeves flick made $9.9 million over the weekend. By comparison, the first “Matrix” sequel opened with $91.7 million in 2003. Nevertheless, Universal has plenty of reason to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, such as the 2013 receipts for “Despicable Me 2″ ($918 million worldwide), “Fast & Furious 6″ ($788 million) and “Identity Thief” ($173 million).
Justin Bieber isn’t likely to be celebrating the numbers for his latest concert film, which had the worst opening of any of the new widely released pictures. Perhaps his Christmas Eve “retirement” had something to do with box-office forecasts: “Believe” opened on Christmas Day and earned a paltry $4.3 million through Sunday from roughly 1,000 locations. “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” opened with nearly $30 million in February, 2011, which proved to be about $28 million more than the opening weekend for his second cinematic outing.
“Frozen” was probably the weekend’s biggest success story, even though it failed to beat “Smaug” for #1. The Disney Animation movie benefitted immensely from the holiday break, jumping up an impressively strong 47 percent during its fifth weekend. Only the two biggest movies of all time — “Avatar” and “Titanic” — had stronger fifth weekends than “Frozen,” which has now made $248.4 million domestically.
“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” made $85 million during its entire domestic run. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” was less than $2 million away from that figure in less than 12 days. Even more impressively, Will Ferrell’s pet project sequel has made $24.5 million from foreign markets, which kicks the first movie’s $5.3 million overseas total harder than Jack Black punted poor little Baxter off that bridge.
The mix-and-match of the Oscar winning casts from “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook” have already earned seven Golden Globe nominations for their reunion with filmmaker David O. Russell, “American Hustle,” which was fourth over the weekend with $19.6 million.