Box Office Prediction: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ vs. ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

Published 8 months ago by , Updated December 25th, 2013 at 8:39 am,

The Wolf of Wall Street vs. Smaug Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle – to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Anchorman 2‘s opening weekend – and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge that our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of December 27 – 29, 2013.

This weekend, the crime dark comedy The Wolf of Wall Street opens in 2,400 theaters, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty debuts in 3,000 theaters, sports comedy Grudge Match opens in over 2,750 theaters, action film 47 Ronin opens in over 2,600 theaters, and Justin Bieber’s concert, Believe sees a release of 1,000 theaters. August: Osage County gets a limited release of five theaters on December 27, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom expands to 850 locations, war drama Lone Survivor opens in two theaters, and The Invisible Woman gets an unspecified limited release.

-

#1 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Look for last week’s champ, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (read our review) to finish on top of the box office again during this crowded Christmas weekend. Despite the presence of Anchorman 2, Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-earth adventure was still the top earner, making $31.4 million.

One big factor that helped Smaug maintain its place on the chart was the fact that Anchorman 2 opened on Wednesday, December 18 as opposed to that Friday. Since fans were able to see the film on Wednesday and Thursday, it lowered the demand by the time the weekend rolled around. Since most of the wide releases take place on Christmas (a Wednesday), this scenario could happen again. Last year at the same time, An Unexpected Journey was able to hold off buzzed-about awards contenders Django Unchained and Les Misérables and won the weekend. With that precedent in mind, we’re picking The Hobbit, but it should be close.

the hobbit desolation smaug bilbo thorin Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

#2 – The Wolf of Wall Street

Our choice for the second spot is Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The film marks the fifth collaboration between the legendary filmmaker and his 21st century muse, Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio has been a reliable box office draw throughout his career with hits like Inception ($292.5 million) and Django Unchained ($162.8 million) under his belt in recent years. His partnership with Scorsese has been a profitable one, as three of the previous four grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office.

DiCaprio and Hill in Wolf of Wall Street Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

As expected with a Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street has been generating a lot of awards buzz and that will only help it appeal to audiences. Early reviews (read our review) have been extremely positive and organizations such as the Golden Globes and the American Film Institute have honored it ahead of its theatrical release. The three-hour run time (which limits the number of screenings a theater can show during the day) could hurt it, but movie fans have been excited for this one since the energetic teaser trailer was released back in June. With the popularity of the talent involved and a strong marketing presence, it will have a strong opening and lengthy run.

#3 – Frozen

Our choice for third place is Frozen (read our review). Disney’s latest animated hit came in third last week with $19.1 million. Even though there are a handful of new releases opening this week, you can never underestimate a family film at the box office – particularly during a holiday weekend when kids are home from school. A week ago, Frozen was able to make more money than American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks and with a monopoly on the kid-friendly demographic, it should continue to post big numbers.

#4 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Coming in fourth should be The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Star/director Ben Stiller can be considered a solid box office draw as both the Meet the Parents and Night at the Museum franchises were solid hits during a similar timeframe. As a director, Stiller is coming off the hit spoof Tropic Thunder ($110.5 million). However, that comedy came out in August 2008 and did not face such stout competition.

secret life walter mitty ben stiller trailer Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

When the first trailer was released, some thought that Walter Mitty would be a possible awards contender, but that did not turn out to be the case. Early critical reaction has been decidedly mixed, and that could influence people to see a different film. There are several better-received options for families (Frozen, The Hobbit) and adults (The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle), which could cause this movie to fall under some moviegoers’ radars. Still, the marketing presence has been strong and some curious viewers could check it out.

#5 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Rounding out the top five should be Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (read our review). The comedy sequel grossed $26.7 million during its opening weekend and had a five-day total of $40 million. While, that was below expectations, it was still a respectable total. With all the new competition coming out for Christmas, it’s likely this falls a bit down the charts, but even with that happening, it should still finish in the top five.

Anchorman 2 Scenes Edit Bay 570x294 Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Comedy audiences will have this and Grudge Match to choose from during the holiday weekend, but we’re giving Ron Burgundy the edge thanks to Will Ferrell’s stronger track record at the box office and the popularity of the Channel 4 news team.

#10 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Our tiebreaker for this week is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (read our review), which came in sixth place last weekend with $8.7 million.

Notes

There are only five spots available and it’s an overstuffed marketplace. Here are the movies we believe will fall short of the top five.

August: Osage County is only getting a limited release of five theaters on December 27. This eliminates it from contention in the top five and it won’t work as a tiebreaker pick.

Lone Survivor has steadily been raising awareness thanks to the marketing campaign ahead of its January 10 nationwide expansion. We remind our readers that it’s only playing in two theaters this weekend, making it impossible for it to crack the top five.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gets an expansion this week as it opens in 850 locations on Christmas. Despite the rising popularity of star Idris Elba (a recent Golden Globe nominee for this film), it’s not playing in enough theaters to crack the top five.

Believe, the new Justin Bieber concert, won’t make the top five, either. It is only opening in 1,000 theaters (putting it at a disadvantage against the competition) and Bieber’s popularity isn’t as high as it was Never Say Never was released in 2011.

47 Ronin Movie Set Visit Report 570x294 Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

We also believe that 47 Ronin will fall short of the top five. Star Keanu Reeves has not been a reliable box office draw for some time and with a lack of buzz surrounding the project, it will most likely be overshadowed by the other movies playing.

The boxing movie Grudge Match could also fall out of the top five. Comedy fans could turn out to see a matchup between Rocky Balboa and the Raging Bull, but Sylvester Stallone has not been a big draw in a long time. He is coming off flops Bullet to the Head ($9.4 million total) and Escape Plan ($24.8 million total). While Robert De Niro did have a role in the acclaimed hit Silver Linings Playbook (over $132 million), he was not the main draw for that particular film and his filmography has added several performances with mediocre box office returns. These two leading men are legends, but they don’t have much audience appeal lately.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

-

Screen Rant Underground Podcast Header Box Office Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street vs. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it’s time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.

Opening in theaters this week (Wide):

  • 47 Ronin – 2,600+ theaters
  • Believe – 1,000 theaters
  • Grudge Match – 2,750+ theaters
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – 3,000 theaters
  • The Wolf of Wall Street – 2,400 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • August: Osage County – 5 theaters (on Friday)
  • The Invisible Woman – unspecified
  • Lone Survivor – 2 theaters
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – 850 theaters

PLEASE NOTE: All of these releases are on Wednesday, December 25 (excepted where noted). For the purposes of our game, we will be using the numbers from the THREE-DAY weekend (December 27-29) NOT the full five-day totals.

Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.

Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (Anchorman 2s opening): Sal reports that Adel Benkhalfa is the winner with a score of 12.

For the record, here are our picks from last week – along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).

  • #1 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (1)
  • #2 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (1)
  • #3 – American Hustle (1)
  • #4 – Saving Mr. Banks (0)
  • #5 – Frozen (0)
  • #10 – Philomena
  • Final Score: 3 points

___

Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: box office

23 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. Honestly, I want 47 Ronin to get some decent BO numbers. I want more Keanu movies.

  2. 1) Desolation of Smaug
    2) Wolf of Wall Street
    3) Frozen
    4) Walter Mitty
    5) Anchorman 2

    10) Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas

  3. Hobbit 2 is on the down slide. Perhaps people are rightly getting tired of these movies that have to shoe horn ONE female heroine into the predictable plot and that have absolutely ZERO diversity with characters. Just a cast of old, sweaty and exclusively white males.

    Hopefully, “Wolf Of Wall Street” , “American Hustle” , “47 Ronin” and “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” will put a fork into the ‘smug’ dragon….

    http://www.thewire.com/national/2010/11/in-middle-earth-must-all-hobbits-be-white/22100/

    • That site must hate William Shakespeare then since all of his characters were white and most were males. Same for HP Lovecraft, Dante Alighieri and other literary giants, reflective of the times and experiences of the writers.

      • LOL Dude, clearly you don’t know your Shakespear.

        Ever read a lil play called “Othello?”

        That’s right William Shakespear wrote a play that revolved around ONE central, main character that was BLACK.

        Tolkien (and by extension)Peter Jackson? Not one.

        And don’t even get me started on all the Shakespearean stage and film productions that cast diverse ethnic and female roles…..

        The LOTR and Hobbit films are on their way out… History and social progress march on.

        • Last time I checked “An Unexpected Journey” grossed over 1 billion $ worldwide. And “Desolation of Smaug” is expected to be very close in terms of sales.

          http://www.deadline.com/2013/12/international-box-office-desolation-of-smaug-adds-96m-anchorman-2-nearly-triples-1st-pics-total-dinosaurs-roam-dhoom-vrooms-about-time-record-more/

          Tolkien worked for decades on the Middle Earth mythology which is supposed to be inspired by medieval England. I would rather have the movies stay true to the spirit of the story than ruin it with an ethnically diverse cast.

          If your vision of social progress is one where even fantasy movies have to be politically correct, then I prefer staying in the past.

        • “The Hobbit” and “The Lord Of The Rings” books were written that way. They were based on a medieval version of many of the countries and regions that now make up Europe, ie: England, Scotland Ireland, Wales, Gaul, scandinavia, Bavaria etc… I see no need to complain about the films for trying to keep the vision of that world intact. I’d find it more dissappointing to change the ethnicity of characters just for the sake of it.

          Tolkien was a stickler for detail, and the tribal bloodlines and family trees of all of his characters were fully realised. He wanted to make middle earth as realistic as possible as far as it’s land and it’s people are concerned. Perhaps the undying lands that the Elves, Bilbo and Gandalf sailed off to are in theory the Americas of Middle Earth?!

        • It’s sad, really, when the predominant way some people choose to view the world is in terms of color. Might I suggest you expand your horizons? God forbid you are stricken blind one day and can’t hold onto this passion of yours…

          • If you think that cultural and ethnic diversity isn’t important in the year 2013, then that is sad in and of itself.

            And it’s not just racial diversity but gender equality, as well.

            Where are all the women in middle earth??? How do they re produce?

            Tolkien devised his world back in the 30′s and 40′s of the 20th century, when women and people of different nationalities were thrown to the back of the bus.

            But this is 2013; compare “Hunger Games Catching Fire” with “The Hobbit.”

            “Catching Fire” is where we stand today.

            Peter Jackson had a chance to enhance the tone of his “middle earth” flicks. He lives in the past. The guy can’t even come up with his own original material.

            The actor who was rejected by Jackson’s Hobbit team wasn’t only dark skinned, but FEMALE. That’s a two for one for Pete Jackson:

            “Does Jackson Really Think He’s Innocent?”

            http://www.avclub.com/article/emthe-hobbitem-fires-casting-director-for-thinking-48362

            http://www.movieweb.com/news/update-the-hobbit-extra-rejected-because-of-race

          • It’s people like you who would still have Rosa Parks sit in the back of a bus….

            • Ah, reality to Kryptonic…

              It’s 2013, not 1955.

              Look, I can see you are overly passionate about this. Why, I don’t know. Something in your background, I presume. I merely suggest that you not let percentages and quotas of color dominate your thinking, as you will never be happy, and in the end, you are making yourself that which you rightly despise…a racist of sorts.

              • Racial diversity is only HALF the debate; Where are the WOMEN?

                Do you not tire of watching a bunch of old men for three hours?

                I love READING Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” stories but the flicks are too heavy on the testosterone. I have enough of my own, thank you very much.

                Peter Jackson makes sure to “embellish” ONE female role (Evangiline Lily) in order to give “some” girls out there a female heroine to root for. Cate Blanchett makes her routine five minute cameo. But that’s about it for any girl who wants to see an empowered chick do her thing. The rest of the cast is ALL white, sweaty MALE. (yuck)

                The actor that was shunned and turned away because she was “too dark skinned” from Jackson’s Hobbit auditions was also a WOMAN. That’s a 2 for 1 for Peter Jackson!

                You talk about 2013? Yeah. EXACTLY.

                ANYONE who can contrast “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” with Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth can easily understand my argument.

                Tolkien wrote his stories back in the 30′s and 40′s of the 20th Century. A time when no one gave much thought at all about women’s rights and the rights of non white minorities.

                Peter Jackson is making these flicks in these modern times. But hey, it’s not just me who makes this argument. Here ya go, enlighten yourself;

                “Does Jackson Really Think He’s Innocent? ”

                http://www.avclub.com/article/emthe-hobbitem-fires-casting-director-for-thinking-48362

                • I’m rolling my eyes here, Kryptonic, and I give up, as it is apparent that this issue is a deeply ingrained passion with you, and no amount of feedback from me or likely anyone else here is going to change that.

                  Have a good Christmas…and lest your thinking tells you otherwise, I mean no offense by that.

                  • I was just preparing to answer, but I think you said it all. It’s just not worth the effort.

                    I’m really glad the producers of the Middle Earth movie actually care more about the spirit of the story itself than people who would want it mutilated just for the sake of “political correctness” (in this case I think it’s more like an obsession).

                    Anyway, Merry Christmas to everyone here. I’m done arguing.

  4. 1.The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    2.The Wolf of Wall Street
    3.Frozen
    4.Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
    5.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    10.Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

  5. So many choices this week. Let’s go with:

    1. The Hobbit: DoS
    2. Frozen
    3. Anchorman 2
    4. The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. Grudge Match
    10. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

  6. Krypton sounds like a desperate and angry fanboy. I guess they aren’t limited to loving a franchise, but hating one too.

    • Racial diversity is only HALF the debate; Where are the WOMEN?

      Do you not tire of watching a bunch of old men for three hours?

      I love READING Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” stories but the flicks are too heavy on the testosterone. I have enough of my own, thank you very much.

      Peter Jackson makes sure to “embellish” ONE female role (Evangiline Lily) in order to give “some” girls out there a female heroine to root for. Cate Blanchett makes her routine five minute cameo. But that’s about it for any girl who wants to see an empowered chick do her thing. The rest of the cast is ALL white, sweaty MALE. (yuck)

      The actor that was shunned and turned away because she was “too dark skinned” from Jackson’s Hobbit auditions was also a WOMAN. That’s a 2 for 1 for Peter Jackson!

      You talk about 2013? Yeah. EXACTLY.

      ANYONE who can contrast “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” with Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth can easily understand my argument.

      Tolkien wrote his stories back in the 30′s and 40′s of the 20th Century. A time when no one gave much thought at all about women’s rights and the rights of non white minorities.

      Peter Jackson is making these flicks in these modern times. But hey, it’s not just me who makes this argument. Here ya go, enlighten yourself;

      “Does Jackson Really Think He’s Innocent? ”

      http://www.avclub.com/article/emthe-hobbitem-fires-casting-director-for-thinking-48362

      • This comment is directed @ Jeff above ^^^

  7. 1. The Wolf of Wall Street
    2. The Hobbit
    3. Frozen
    4. Secret life of Walter Mitty
    5. Anchorman 2
    10. Madea Christmas

  8. 1. Wolf of Wall Street
    2. The Hobbit
    3. Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    4. Frozen
    5. Anchorman 2
    10. Mandela

  9. 1. Wolf of Wall Street
    2. The Hobbit 2
    3. Frozen
    4. Anchorman 2
    5. Walter Mitty
    10. Madea

  10. 1. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
    2. Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Frozen
    4. Anchorman 2
    5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    10. Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Be Social, Follow Us!!