• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman

Karen Ballard/Sony Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox

The holidays should be green for James Bond. Maybe less so for Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

That's the consensus opinion of box-office experts asked to weigh in with their picks for the hits—and potential misses—of Hollywood's holiday season, which, no matter what your calendar says, starts today.

Will Will Smith's Seven Pounds weigh in? Was Beverly Hills Chihuahua just the warm-up act for Bolt?

Let the guessing begin.

 Top Five Holiday Hits (Films Listed in Alphabetical Order):

Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru:

  • Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa (opening today)
  • Quantum of Solace (the new 007 movie, opening Nov. 14)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (sci-fi remake, opening Dec. 12)
  • Twilight (teen vampire saga based on best-seller, opening Nov. 21)
  • Yes Man (Jim Carrey high-concept comedy, opening Dec. 19)

Jeff Bock, Exhibitor Relations:

  • Bedtime Stories (Adam Sandler fantasy comedy, opening Dec. 25)
  • Bolt (animated dog movie, opening Nov. 21)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Madagascar 2
  • Quantum of Solace

Paul Dergarabedian, Media by Numbers:

  • Bolt
  • Madagascar 2
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Seven Pounds (opening Dec. 19)
  • Twilight

High-profile movies that weren't mentioned included: the Kidman-Hugh Jackman epic Australia (opening Nov. 26); Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon (opening Dec. 5)—think Couric/Palin, only with bigger ideas and more Oscar buzz; Cruise's Nazi Germany thriller Valkyrie (opening Dec. 26); and Brad Pitt's age-defying The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (opening Dec. 25).

Does that mean the experts think those films are destined to be this season's Fred Claus? No, not necessarily.

The biggest question mark is Australia. Bock thinks it could sneak into the ranks of the big hits. But Pandya thinks that while it's destined to be an international success, it'll be a tougher sell here.

Dergarbedian just can't tell with Benjamin Button. "How commercial it's going to be, nobody knows," he said.

Chad Hartigan, another analyst for Exhibitor Relations, thought Seven Pounds might be an underperforming movie for Smith, Hollywood's most bankable star.

Bock wasn't sold on Valkyrie's box-office prospects—nothing personal against Cruise. Or Frost/Nixon, either.

"Both films may be good, but regardless, they have very limited audiences," Bock said in an email. "Escapism is still the order of the day. And shopping."