Few family films among Hollywood's holiday movies
By Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If moviegoers are expecting traditional family films in theaters this holiday season, they may be surprised. Hollywood filmmakers are releasing movies that feature epic battles with vampires, goblins, extremists and a few elves.
With blockbuster films like "The Hobbit," the final installment of "The Twilight Saga," and the big screen version of hit musical "Les Miserables," Hollywood is hoping for a strong end to 2012 after some disappointments in the summer.
The period encompassing the U.S. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays is the second most popular time of year to go to the movies, following the summer months.
The holiday movie season kicks off Friday with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," which concludes the tale of a mortal girl in love with both a vampire and a werewolf.
On December 14, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson releases the first of his three "Hobbit" films, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel of the same name and featuring many of the same characters seen in his Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
"As far as box office is concerned, there's 'Breaking Dawn' and 'The Hobbit' and then there's everything else," Fandango correspondent Dave Karger said.
"Those two films are in a class by themselves - the anticipation for them is off the charts. Both have humongous built-in audiences and mega-successful movies that came before them."
The North American box office has brought in some $9.1 billion so far this year - up 4.3 percent from 2011. Box office analyst Hollywood.com estimates that 2012 will close with domestic sales of $10.6 billion, up 3.7 percent from 2011, and on par with the all-time ticket sales record set in 2009. Continued...