It was a fight to the finish between Martin Scorsese's freshly opened "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the end of the second week of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug" to see who would be crowned box-office king over Christmas.
'Hobbit' looks to have taken the lead on Christmas Day, pulling in $9.32 million for the day compared with "The Wolf of Wall Street" at $9.15 million. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" came in third with $8.1 million, followed by newcomer "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in fourth with $7.8 million.
Other newcomers on the holiday were Universal's big-budget "47 Ronin" which opened in sixth with $7.0 million, and the De Niro/Stallone team-up "Grudge Match" in ninth with $4.0 million. The real story though will be determined when the five day numbers come in on Sunday morning.
While it's not a major one in the U.S., the Christmas/Boxing Day holiday is the biggest cinema going period of the year in several other countries, including Australia where "Hobbit" opened on the Boxing Day holiday (Dec 26th) and scored $4.9 million US dollars from 629 screens. That's the biggest Thursday opening in Australia, and the second-biggest Boxing Day opening of all time - just 7% behind that of the first 'Hobbit' last year.