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December 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Several new films had stronger-than-expected debuts on Christmas day, according to studio estimates, with Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street opening with about $9.2 million opening slightly behind Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, which remained at No. 1 with $9.3 million. Equally surprising about the Wolf‘s strong opening was that audiences polled by Cinemascore gave it only a “C” grade, which is likely to affect word-of-mouth and thus its overall performance. Paramount’s Anchorman 2 slipped to third place with about $8.1 million, edging out the opening of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which debuted with around $7.8 million. But Universal’s 47 Ronin was something of a surprise as it hit theaters with $7 million and a B+ Cinemascore in its debut. Some forecasters had indicated that the film was not likely to earn much more than that over the entire 5-day holiday. On the other end of the scale, the Robert De Niro/Sylvester Stallone comedy Grudge Match managed to bring in just $4 million. And the Justin Bieber documentary Believe might encourage the young singer’s retirement plans as it opened in 1,037 theaters with just $1.3 million.