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MARTIN FREEMAN as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in New Line Cinema’s and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's fantasy adventure “THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

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'Hobbit' sequel tops 'Wolf of Wall Street' on Christmas Day

  • Article by: Ryan Faughnder
  • Los Angeles Times
  • December 27, 2013 - 10:31 AM

Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” didn’t steal quite enough box office riches to beat the “Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on Wednesday.

“Wolf of Wall Street,” the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring dark comedy from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures, grossed an estimated $9.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, coming in just behind “Smaug,” which looks like it generated around $9.3 million in ticket sales.

“Smaug,” the second part of the “Hobbit” trilogy based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, could be on its way to a third straight weekend as the highest-grossing film.

“Wolf of Wall Street,” a tale of unchained greed and excess, has received generally positive reviews, with a 75 percent “fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave the film a relatively low grade of “C,” according to the polling firm CinemaScore. It’s expected to gross roughly $35 million through Sunday.

As “Smaug” and “Wolf of Wall Street” battled at the top, a pack of new films and holdovers competed for moviegoers’ attention.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” grossed $8.1 million, while “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” the new 20th Century Fox movie directed by and starring Ben Stiller, raked in $7.8 million on its first day in theaters. Audiences were generally warm toward “Walter Mitty,” giving it a B-plus CinemaScore.

David O. Russell’s acclaimed 1970s con artist drama “American Hustle” grossed $7.4 million on Christmas, indicating a solid start for its second weekend in wide release.

“47 Ronin,” the samurai movie with Keanu Reeves, took in an estimated $7 million and earned a B-plus grade. The film, debuting after a couple delays, cost at least $175 million to make. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro duked it out in “Grudge Match” for another B-plus, and its first day in the ring resulted in about $4 million in ticket sales.

© 2014 Star Tribune