Could the success of "The Wolf of Wall Street" signal that the market is near a top?
Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer, argues that the Oscar-nominated movie should indeed give bulls pause. After all, he said, interest in the film shows that interest in the market has gone mainstream—an observation bolstered by measures of participation in the stock market.
"When mass media or broad media picks up on something, typically that thing is reaching an end stage," Worth said.
For him, looking at movies is a modern-day version of the classic magazine cover indicator, which holds that the market tends to do the opposite of what a cover states about it. For instance, a technical analyst who believes in the magazine cover indicator would take a bear on the cover of Forbes as a bullish sign for equities.
(Read more: An interview with the real 'Wolf of Wall Street')
Today, with more eyes on films than on magazines, what might be called the "Hollywood indicator" could prove to be a better tell.
Worth points out that the track record for stocks around the release of a major movie about Wall Street has not been good. In 1987, the market crashed suddenly in October, two months before the release of "Wall Street." In 2000, "Boiler Room" was released as the market was peaking.
The most damning piece of evidence may be the timing of the first "The Wolf of Wall Street." An otherwise unrelated film by the same name, it was released in February 1929 (and was produced by Paramount, which distributed the 2013 film)—months before the horrific crash of that year.
"There is some rhythm here, some rhyme," Worth said.