We've already seen holiday films whoosh down the chimney, including the franchise powerhouse "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and Disney's "Frozen." Those will be expected to play through December.
Also in theaters: a handful of non-blockbusters angling for awards consideration, such as "Nebraska," "Philomena," and "Dallas Buyers Club." You'll be hearing about those kinds of prestige pictures in the weeks to come, though they may not open hereabouts in December.
Some films, including the Mark Wahlberg vehicle "Lone Survivor" and "The Invisible Woman" (with Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens) will play in New York and L.A. to qualify for awards consideration, but open around the country in January.
So what have we got? A couple of sure-fire sequels, involving Will Ferrell's newscaster alter ego Ron Burgundy and a bunch of hobbits. A few Oscar-favorite actors arrive with their big projects, including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
Big-name directors bring big-canvas sagas as well: Martin Scorsese with "The Wolf of Wall Street" (so sprawling it needed to be delayed at the last minute from its long-held November opening date) and David O. Russell with "American Hustle."
On a smaller scale, the Coen brothers offer "Inside Llewyn Davis," the kind of gorgeous but quizzical offering only they could dream up.
Toss in a big animated movie for the kids and at least one counter-programming action flick, and you've got the usual something-for-everyone. So leave the cookies and milk on the table, and let's go out to the movies.
Click here to see what movies are coming for the holiday season.
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