Denby said Ray Liotta's central character in "Goodfellas" was much more credible and artistic, but this film had "an almost hysterical overemphasis, as if Scorsese was saying, 'I may be 71, but I'm still king. You know, I'm going to out-Tarantino Tarantino. I'm going to make the wildest, craziest movie you've ever seen.' And it really, I think, is oppressive."
So far, "The Wolf of Wall Street" has only grossed $66 million after costing $100 million to make. In its second weekend, it came in fourth at the box office. This may be due in part to the film's promotional trailer, which paints a misleading picture of a fun film about some sleazy stockbrokers with nothing more than a few seconds alluding to the parade of sex, drugs and debauchery.
Meanwhile at the top of the box office -- in its sixth weekend -- was "Frozen." With a worldwide cumulative gross of more than $600 million, it is now the second highest-grossing Disney Animation release of all time, behind "The Lion King."
It produced the third highest sixth weekend ever behind "Avatar" and "Titanic," and "Frozen" is also the first movie to hold the top spot on its sixth weekend since "Avatar" did four years ago. "Frozen" has just passed $300 million at the domestic box office.
Scorsese & Co. will hope for some Oscar nominations as a way to boost their underwhelming box office numbers. But the Hollywood manipulators behind awards season shouldn't be allowed to blur the message being sent to Scorsese and his studio enablers at Paramount. How many times must they learn that a super-sleazy spectacle is usually going to get trumped at the ticket counter by a film the whole family can enjoy?
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