The Christmas Day box office was a match-up (but not a grudge match) between The Wolf of Wall Street and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, while Keanu Reeves's 47 Ronin could be one of the final disasters of 2013.
It's looking like Peter Jackson's dwarves eked out a victory over Martin Scorsese's brokers. At Deadline Anita Busch reported that The Hobbit took the top spot bringing in between $9.3 and $9.4 million, with Wolf following close behind with $9.1 million. Todd Cunningham at The Wrap put The Hobbit at $9.5 million. Worth noting? Wolf received a CinemaScore of C, meaning that the movie-going public is less than thrilled with it.
But perhaps the more interesting story at the movies this holiday is the fate of 47 Ronin, a samurai movie starring Keanu Reeves that cost at least $175 million to make. Yesterday morning the Los Angeles Times's Chris Lee forecast doom for the movie: an estimated $20 million opening "would put 47 Ronin in the top tier of big-budget Hollywood failures, ranking alongside John Carter, R.I.P.D. and The Lone Ranger in the 'when tentpole films go horribly wrong' category." The movie ultimately brought in around $7 million, which is above expectations, but Cunningham wrote that "it’s clear already that it won’t come near offsetting its $170 million production budget."
At least it did better than Grudge Match, the old-people boxing film, which made $4 million. Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty fell somewhere in the middle with $7.8 million.