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December 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One lesson that many movie studio executives have apparently not learned yet is that when they release a lot of movies at the same time, the audience for them does not significantly expand to embrace them all. As the Wall Street Journal observed in a headline, “Christmas Box Office Splintered.” It noted that the top five films on opening day Wednesday grossed within $2 million of one another. Several films that might have had a decent chance at a reasonable return if they had not faced such daunting competition flopped. They included Ronin 47, a $175-million blockbuster that went bust on its first day with just $7 million in ticket sales and plunged further on its second day with $3.7 million; the Sylvester Stallone-Robert De Niro comedy Grudge Match, which collected just $4 million on opening day, then just $2.1 million on Boxing Day; and the Justin Bieber concert documentary Believe, which opened with $1.25 million and slipped to $1 million the next day. Meanwhile, indications are that Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which opened strongly in second place behind The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Christmas Day, dropped to fourth place the next day following dreadful word-of-mouth reaction, represented by a “C” Cinemascore on opening day. Daily Variety reported that ticket sales plunged 30 percent on the second day to $6.4 million. In the headline of his column today (Friday), the Los Angeles Times‘s Steven Zeitchik asked, “The Wolf of Wall Street: Is it too polarizing for the mainstream?” The Hobbit sequel, however, actually rose 13 percent to $10.5 million on Thursday, according to the trade publication, while Disney’s Frozen jumped a whopping 36 percent to $8.8 million.