New Jack City: Deck The Halls With Ticket Stubs & Holly; Holiday Movie Preview

It’s been a rough year for the movie industry…

On the studio and distribution front there were escalating costs of production, 3-D and dried up movie financing while exhibitors had to deal with increasing film rental terms and huge sums of money connected with digital conversions at their theaters.

The big question: will the all important upcoming holiday season make up for some of the slack the industry experienced earlier this year?

Now here are Hollywood’s major Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday offerings and their K.C. opening dates

Friday, November 18th:

* The highly anticipated TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN-PART 1 kicks it all off with Edward’s wedding to Bella and the birth of their daughter. Needless to say, Jacob’s pissed.
 
* Also on the 18th, HAPPY FEET TWO, the stereoscopic sequel to the Oscar winning smash hit, reuniting the world’s most famous top-dancing penguin with the rest of the bunch. Remember—every step counts!
 
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Five days later, Wednesday, November 23rd,  a trio of family-friendly films and a sure-bet Oscar contender completes the Thanksgiving line-up.

* There’s the animated comedy ARTHUR CHRISTMAS which answers every child’s question: ‘How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’
 
* Also HUGO as director Martin Scorsese tells the story of an orphan boy living a secret live in the walls of a Paris train station.
 
* Disney chimes in with THE MUPPETS who are staging a fund-raising event to save their former theater from destruction. Huge live cast here as well

* And George Clooney shoots for an Oscar nomination with the powerful family drama THE DESCENDANTS
It’s director Alexander Payne‘s first new film since giving us SIDEWAYS in 2004.

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I’ll skip past the next 3 weeks and fast forward to Friday, December 16th, Kansas City’s official Christmas movie debut date.
 
* That’s when Robert Downey, Jr. reunites with Jude Law (as Dr. Watson) in SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.
 
* And you knew it had to happen! Alvin And The Chipmunks are back—this time in a cruise ship disaster flick called CHIPWRECKED… go figure.
 
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On to Wednesday, December 21st

* That’s when the much anticipated ‘Americanization’ of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara makes it debut.

* It’s also the wide opening date for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-GHOST PROTOCOL with Tom Cruise-control.
(Note that M:I-GHOST PROTOCOL will get a five day jump on IMAX screens only where it pre-opens on Friday, December 16th!)

* Director Steven Spielberg offers the motion-capture tales of THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: SECRET OF THE UNICORN. It’s Spielberg’s first venture into 3-D!

* And two days later on Friday, December 23rd

Matt Damon takes over a dalipidated wildlife park in an attempt to reconnect with his children following the death of his wife. It’s called WE BOUGHT A ZOO and co-stars Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church as directed by Cameron Crowe.

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Possibly this year’s final two major titles both open here on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th.
 
* The first is the sci-fi thriller THE DARKEST HOUR in which four people find themselves trapped in a suddenly underpopulated Moscow following an alien attack.
 
* The other is WAR HORSE, director Steven Spielberg‘s moving story of a British boy enlisting into the service and heading off to France to save his beloved horse which was pressed into service during World War I.
Emily Watson, Peter Mullan and Jeremy Irvine head Mr. Spielberg’s second holiday entry.

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Some dates may still change. A picture or two could move in or out of the line up.

And there’s still a chance that IRON LADY starring (America’s best actress) Meryl Streep as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher could open here on Friday, December 30th. But my gut tells me that’s strictly an Oscar qualifying date with select openings only in major markets like New York and L.A. (K.C. probably won’t see it ’til 2012.

So that’s pretty well how the industry will finish out 2011.

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2 Responses to New Jack City: Deck The Halls With Ticket Stubs & Holly; Holiday Movie Preview

  1. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Jack did you get a chance to attend a screening of Take Shelter with Michael Shannon? Hearing lots of buzz about the film and his performance. Might have to catch it at Red Bridge this week.

  2. jack p. says:

    Sorry but I missed the screening.
    I did however see “MY WEEK WITH MARILYN” this morning. A fascinating behind the scenes drama while she was filming “THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL” at the Pinewood Studios in London—and young Colin Clark who enjoyed a brief fling with her during production.
    Kenneth Branagh quite good as Sir Laurence Olivier. Ditto Judi Dench and Emma Watson in a non-Potter role.
    Picture should open here soon.

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