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December 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

wolf-smaugWith five — count ’em, five — new releases moving into theaters in wide release over the five-day Christmas holiday, it’s going to be one of the most crowded weekends at the box office in recent memory. The five are Paramount’s Martin Scorsese drama The Wolf of Wall Street, 20th Century Fox’s Ben Stiller fantasy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Warner Bros.’ Robert De Niro/Sylvester Stallone comedy Grudge Match, Universal’s Keanu Reeves samurai drama 47 Ronin, and Open Road Films’ Justin Bieber documentary Believe. Of those, only the Scorsese drama appears to have any chance of unseating The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug from the No. 1 position, which it has held for the past two weekends. But it’s a slight chance. Tracking studies indicate that Hobbit will likely take the weekend with around $35-40 million, while Wolf will likely come away with $30-35 million. Walter Mitty and Grudge Match may wind up with around $15-20 million each while 47 Ronin and Believe will probably earn around $8-12 million. That would be OK for the Bieber film; it probably cost no more than that to make; but it would represent a dismal flop for the Keanu Reeves flick, which reportedly cost $175 million.