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'Smaug' wins while box office sets record

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Even though an onslaught of new films opened on Christmas, they were not the ones battling it out for the top spot at the box office.

Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro couldn't fight for it while Ben Stiller's film didn't dream up enough movie-goers either.

That's right, "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Grudge Match" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" all lost out to a film that is long but has staying power. "The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug" wins again on the five-day holiday and the regular three-day weekend. Not bad at all, considering such a crowded field, and some big names. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" is still solid, though one would think it was doing better considering the hype machine behind it.

But even more impressive may be "Frozen," which jumped back up and seems to be the film that had that holiday push. It may surprise some that it landed in the second spot, but not here. Of the newcomers, only "Wolf" cracked the top five. These crazy holidays figures will have some films at different spots for that five-day and the three-day.

Holiday
1. "The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug" - (three-day, $29.8 million; five-day, $49.3 million)
2. "Frozen" - (three-day, $28.8 million; $44.2 million)
3. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" - (three-day, $20.1 million; five-day, $35.7 million)
4. "American Hustle" - (three-day, $19.5 million; five-day, $33.7 million)
5. NEW: "The Wolf of Wall Street" - (three-day, $18.4 million; five-day, $34.5 million)
NEW: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" - (three-day, $13.1 million; five-day, $25.7 million)
NEW: "47 Ronin" - (three-day, $9.8 million; five-day, $20.6 million)
NEW: "Grudge Match" - (three-day, $7.3 million; five-day, $13.4 million)
NEW: "Believe" - (three-day, $2 million; five-day, $4.2 million)

The ouch category belongs to "Believe" with Justin Bieber for sure. Perhaps that retirement news really meant something. The only ones to blame on that are his fans. Who else would want to see that film? "47 Ronin" with Reeves is perhaps a bigger bomb and "Grudge Match" is not only knocked out, it was DOA. On the flip side, "American Hustle" is running along smoothly in its quest for Oscar gold and "August: Osage County" opened strong in only five theaters for a $35,895 per screen average.

The results for "The Wolf of Wall Street" are not clear as to its status on the award season front. This one has many perplexed as to its greatness, or even as an overall good film. There might be too much there, if that makes any sense.

But, the box office broke another yearly record in 2013. The year saw the average ticket price at $8.03 and some mighty blockbusters come along, including "Iron Man 3," "Catching Fire," and yes, the latest Hobbit adventure. So far, 31 films went over $100 million while one went over $400 million, domestically. That was "Iron Man 3." Some films are still out so their totals are not quite done yet.

There were also some big movies that tanked including "The Lone Ranger," "47 Ronin," ''After Earth" and ''R.I.P.D."

Tops in 2013

1. "Iron Man 3" - $409,013,994

2. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - $391,124,000

3. "Despicable Me 2" - $367,741,000

Looking inside those numbers may tell a different story. Ticket prices helped 2013 set the record, of course, because people seeing films didn't change much from the previous year. The previous record-holder for box office was 2012, but for admissions, it was 2002 with 1.57 billion, noted the Associated Press. Last year record take was $10.83 billion and after this holiday, that number was surpassed with final figures still being tabulated.

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