Weekend Box Office: 'Hobbit' #1 Again, 'Wolf' Takes Fifth Amid Audience Controversy

It's the final box office weekend of 2013 and it belongs to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is enjoying some stellar holdovers after a somewhat soft opening weekend given its sequel nature. In its second weekend the film dropped only 57.2% and this weekend it only dipped 5% for an estimated $29.8 million, enough for a third weekend in a row at #1, barely edging out Disney's Frozen at $28.8 million as holdovers ruled the day and Frozen became the second highest grossing Disney Animation release ever, trailing only The Lion King ($422m).

You have to go down to the fifth position to find one of the new Christmas Day releases as the top four remained essentially the same from last weekend. The Wolf of Wall Street fell just shy of American Hustle as it racked up $18.5 million and a boatload of controversy as some people are declaring it to be a film glorifying its bad behavior rather than serving as a satire, laughing at the state of greed in the modern era as well as the glassy-eyed audience that doesn't realize the film is also condemning them. The question I have is Did the film fail to get across its message or can people not see it for what it is? Personally I thought the ending was a clear giveaway, but what do I know?

Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty failed to catch fire and still has some work to do to make up that $90 million budget. The film managed $13 million this weekend and has made $25 million since its Christmas opening.

Moving to ninth we find our next new Christmas release in 47 Ronin, a film with a budget ranging from $175-250 million depending on what you believe. The film opened with $7 million on Christmas Day, but only managed $9.8 million over the three-day.

Then there's the matter of Grudge Match, which couldn't even crack the top ten, coming in 11th with $7.3 million, though I guess it could eek out a victory over Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas once actuals arrive.

Spike Jonze's Her remained in limited release, playing in only 47 theaters wehre it made $645,000 ($13,723 per) while Peter Berg's Lone Surviro opened in only two theaters and dominated with $92,468 for a $46,234 per theater average.

Additional Oscar hopefuls in limited release include Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom ($2.4 million), Philomena ($1.8 million), Nebraska ($800k) and August: Osage County ($179,500; 5 theaters).

Next weekend kicks off 2014 with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and for those of you competing in the RopeofSilicon Box Office Challenge, we're still waiting for Paramount actuals from last weekend, which means we not only have this weekend's actuals to wait on, but last as well. Word is those numbers may not arrive until January 3, so we may be waiting a little while before crowning a 2013 winner.

Weekend Box-Office Top Ten for December 27 - December 29, 2013

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was #1 at the box-office
  2. Frozen () - $28.5 million ($248.1m cume)
    From 3,335 theaters ($8,546 avg.) / $150 million budget / 89%
  3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues () - $19.6 million ($83.1m cume)
    From 3,507 theaters ($5,589 avg.) / $50 million budget / 75%
  4. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 95%
  5. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
  6. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
  7. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
  8. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
  9. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
  10. American Hustle () - $18.7 million ($59.1m cume)
    From 2,507 theaters ($7,459 avg.) / $40 million budget / 93%
Click here to browse our box-office charts and compare Laremy's predictions

READER PREDICTION RESULTS

These are the actual weekend results and the weekend's winners are now final.
The reader prediction leaderboard has been updated and can be seen here.

47 Ronin
  1. 47 Ronin
  2. ACTUAL: $9.9 million
  3. cineJAB
    $8.9 million prediction / $1 million off
  4. Exxdee13
    $11.1 million prediction / $1.2 million off
  5. Alan Smithee
    $11.3 million prediction / $1.4 million off
  6. Rach
    $11.3 million prediction / $1.4 million off
  7. Michael Harrison
    $11.3 million prediction / $1.4 million off
Grudge Match
  1. Grudge Match
  2. ACTUAL: $7.3 million
  3. dam94
    $7.6 million prediction / $0.3 million off
  4. Abraham Sánchez
    $8.3 million prediction / $1 million off
  5. Ryan Jayden
    $8.74 million prediction / $1.44 million off
  6. PJ Edwards
    $8.8 million prediction / $1.5 million off
  7. Alan Smithee
    $8.9 million prediction / $1.6 million off
The Wolf of Wall Street
  1. The Wolf of Wall Street
  2. ACTUAL: $18.3 million
  3. rusty
    $18.4 million prediction / $0.1 million off
  4. Torryz
    $18.7 million prediction / $0.4 million off
  5. Abraham Sánchez
    $18.9 million prediction / $0.6 million off
  6. PJ Edwards
    $19.7 million prediction / $1.4 million off
  7. Thegreathare
    $19.7 million prediction / $1.4 million off
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  2. ACTUAL: $12.7 million
  3. Jason Lavender
    $15.8 million prediction / $3.1 million off
  4. Andrew13
    $16.1 million prediction / $3.4 million off
  5. Roger
    $17 million prediction / $4.3 million off
  6. Jack Tyler
    $17.5 million prediction / $4.8 million off
  7. Exxdee13
    $17.8 million prediction / $5.1 million off

SCORING: A total number of five (5) readers win for each movie. The reader with the closest prediction on a movie wins five (5) points, second closest wins four (4) points and so on. In the event of a tie, the winner is determined by the reader that posted his/her prediction first.

For a complete look at the rules and regulations on how to compete click the "Rules & Regulations" tab at the top of the page right here.

  • Adnan Ahmed

    Impressive runs from both Hobbit & Frozen indeed.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Rob/ Rob

    So how is a winner determined? Is it the two people who did best point and accuracy wise, or is it the person who had the best average between the two of them? Or are there three winners, one for each of the categories mentioned?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I am going to list one winner for accuracy and one for point total. Still deciding on prizing.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

    'Frozen' and 'Smaug' appear to have won the battle for audiences primary go to this year, even though 'Smaug' has no chance of matching it's predecessor. The rest seem to be having varying degrees of success.

    Most of them should be fine financially apart from 'Wolf' as it supposedly has a $100 million budget and may not make that back domestically. Especially as it seems to be divisive (it doesn't open in the UK until Jan 17th) among audiences.

    '47 Ronin' looked like a bust for some time though so I don't think that one counts anyway. I wonder if this puts the bullet in Carl Rinsch's career before it even begins though.

  • Carlos.

    Glad American Hustle is bringing them dollars.

  • Ricky

    Hoping Walter Mitty will catch on with audiences! It's a really great film!

  • yrabadi

    Hm, I haven't seen Wolf yet, so I really can't make a comment on it... I will say that I've heard a lot of negative things about the film, as well as from those tied to the real people the film is based on, and based on those alone, I really have little interest in seeing it.

    I don't know if the intention really matters. I mean, the protagonist sounds like an awful character and the entire film seems to be based on rich people and their greed... For me, it's not a surprise people aren't running out to see it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    The question I have is Did the film fail to get across its message or can people not see it for what it is? Personally I thought the ending was a clear giveaway, but what do I know?

    A failure in my opinion. I believe Scorsese and DiCaprio had noble intentions, but the fatal mistake was making it a comedy and asking the audience to laugh along with the characters as women are pervasively humiliated and degraded. Sorry, nothing funny about that.

    And yes, the final shot is what the whole movie should have been about. As it is, the "social commentary" aspect of the film is little more than an afterthought in the grand scheme of things.

    The audience I watched the film with was noticeably bored with it all and wanted it to end.

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3769949/ thatpj

      I think using comedy was indeed smart, but almost too smart. It's going over general audiences heads and then the thought leaders cant really pivot back from saying 'it is the most fun I had into a theater all year' to oh yeah, Scorsese is really laughing at you. It's a stillborn.

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3769949/ thatpj

    glassy-eyed audience that doesn't realize the film is also condemning them.

    I got that when I first saw the movie and am still baffled by all these reactions calling it the most fun movie ever? Is it fun to be made fun of for 3 hours? That's not my idea of a fun time.

  • Geri Barrath

    And yet another example of the poor education system in America. Wonder if Scorsese will ever over estimated the audiences intelligence again. Hope Academy voters are savvy enough to disregard.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheLastEquivocationofBrist/ TheLastEquivocationofBrist

    I really liked Wolf personally. I didn't think the ending was the only scene showing that the movie laughs at its characters and its audience. All of Belfort's speeches to Stratton Oakmont had the same effect for me. Not necessarily what Belfort said, but the way his employees all cheered like money-drunk idiots. The movie also makes Belfort's drug addictions look pathetic in quite a few scenes, so I'm not sure how that would be glorifying anything. And hookers can be had for a price, that's simply a fact of life, so if anything is more problematic it's the treatment of the other female characters. The scene where they tape money to one of their wives did admittedly made me uncomfortable, for instance.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    I way-overestimated everything based on the Christmas Day numbers; this is the second year in a row I've done that.

    Regarding The Wolf of Wall St, I mostly agree with Brist above regarding the tone. I think it was evident at several points throughout the movie what an asshole Belfort was and what dumb, money-loving stooges all his cronies were. Did the comedy angle hurt the themes Scorsese and Winter were trying to get across? I think maybe on some level, and maybe taking more of a dramatic angle on it would have made their ideas more obvious. So maybe doing it comedically was really too subtle in a weird way, given that on the surface, the absolute last thing this movie is is subtle.

    I do agree with AS that these people treated women horridly, but at least they're acknowledging that aspect of what went on. Hopefully everyone involved, women and men, understand why those scenes were there and what their purpose was. It's sad that misogynistic assholes will laugh along with it, but that's just an example of the ugliness of our society and what the moviemakers were trying to point out .

    Regarding the movie itself, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely too long. There were scenes that could have been shortened considerably and some that surely could have been cut. I'll probably watch it again though at some point. Overall I'd say B-