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Welcome to the "Box Office Kings" club, Mr. Martin Scorsese! After years of toiling at the lowly $100-$200 million range for global box office, the filmmaker has finally achieved a professional milestone. He cracked the $300 million mark with his latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Since opening in December, Scorsese’s tribute to financial decadence has banked $304.88M, according to Box Office Mojo. It’s a first for the director, who came closest with Shutter Island and its $294.8 million worldwide gross.
THR cites strong performances on foreign territories. It has earned north of $20 million in France, Ireland/UK and Germany. It is performing very well in Spain and Italy. And it still has areas with which to conquer.
Having a major movie star like Leonardo DiCaprio as your lead certainly helps a movie like Wolf -- you’ll notice that DiCaprio heads up Shutter Island. And in actuality, the duo’s collaborations traditionally have done very well at the box office. The Departed earned $289 million in 2006. The Aviator crossed the $213M mark in 2004. And Gangs of New York, their first film together, made $193.7 million in 2002. So they have shown steady progression over the years.
Most impressive is the fact that Wolf runs a hefty 180 minutes, usually reducing the number of screenings that theaters can program in a given day. But the film also carried a hefty $100 million budget… which almost prevented Wolf from getting made in the first place. Scorsese’s investors likely will learn to trust in the director moving forward. Can you believe they still didn’t, after all of these years?
Films tend to receive a financial bump at the box office after the Oscars, particularly if they take home a few awards. It’s scary to think how much higher Wolf could climb if it were able to earn a few unexpected trophies from the Academy. Maybe Leo’s "wish" can come true?
In the meantime, we begin to look ahead to the next projects from all involved in Wolf. Scorsese is about to start shooting Silence, a religious film he’s making with Andrew Garfield. And DiCaprio just agreed to join Jonah Hill in a movie about Richard Jewell, the security guard caught up in controversy at the Summer Olympics. They’ll all be at the Academy Awards on March 2, though, cheering on Wolf and hoping it can somehow break a few more records for Scorsese… maybe in terms of the most Oscars won by the filmmaker over the course of his illustrious career?