The holiday box-office season is here. And so is the guessing game.
The Blockbuster? With two weeks to go until opening day, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (opening Nov. 19) has already conjured nearly 1,000 sold-out screenings. So remove the question mark. This will be the year-end box-office star.
The Blockbuster Delayed? Nearly 30 years ago, the original Tron crashed when it should've smashed. Now the time may have come to stop worrying about ghosts in the machine. "Tron: Legacy [opening Dec. 17] is our second most-requested film of the holiday season," Harry Medved, of advance-ticket-seller Fandango, tells us. "[T]here's a lot of curiosity about the 3-D effects, as this is not one of those cheap 2-D conversions."
The Cougar? Box-office tracker Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com has a hunch about Tangled (opening Nov. 24), the CGI-rendered, 3-D-powered take on Rapunzel: "I think that could do very well...It does have good buzz." Not only that, but per HitFix.com Editor-in-Chief Gregory Ellwood, Tangled is polling as the No. 1 holiday movie among
masters of the real universe moms.
The Wildcards? Given its legacy and lack of comedy competition, Little Fockers (opening Dec. 22) should be huge—unless the six long years between sequels killed the laughs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (opening Dec. 10) could be the next The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—unless it's the next Prince Caspian; and, Yogi Bear (opening Dec. 17) could be the new Alvin & the Chipmunks—unless it's not.
The Second Coming of Glitter? Can you watch the trailer for Aguilera and Cher's Burlesque (opening Nov. 24), and not think of Showgirls? Or Coyote Ugly? Or a certain 2001 bomb that blew up a certain songbird's then-budding film career?
If so, then you, perhaps, should think again.
"Sony is going to spend to open that movie," says Ellwood, who writes his site's Movie Power Rankings column. "Is it going to be a financial hit? That's to be determined. But will it look like a hit? It will look OK. It will not look like a disaster."
That's one way to keep the holidays happy.