26 December 2013 9:08 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Leading the Christmas Day derby, Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” collected $9.3 million, followed closely by Paramount’s newcomer “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which grossed $9.2 million opening day.

The crowded holiday fray has no fewer than eight films bowing or expanding nationwide through Friday, including “Wolf,” as well as Fox’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which landed in forth place on Wednesday, grossing $7.8 million (behind “Anchorman 2,” with $8.1 million).

Also bowing midweek were Universal’s “47 Ronin” and Warner’s “Grudge Match,” which made $7 million and $4 million, respectively.

Neither is a solid start, especially for the former film, which looks to be a big financial flop given its lofty $175 million-plus budget. That said, “Ronin” received a better-than-expected ‘B+’ CinemaScore rating. Pic’s international prospects are troubling also considering it failed to catch on in Japan, where the samurai tentpole is set; it’s made $10 million overseas so far. »


- Andrew Stewart

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