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New in Theaters Dec. 13: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, A Madea Christmas

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By Chris Kavan - 12/12/13 at 06:54 AM CT

As we get closer to the end of the year, Hollywood brings out the big guns. The next few weeks are going to be jam-packed with blockbusters and this weekend is no exception. Just like Catching Fire did in November, Peter Jackson should have a certified lock on the box office. The question, as always, will be just how much will the super-sized sequel bring in. In terms of competition - I don't expect anything to stand in its way and the rest of the box office will pale in comparison.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG I have to admit that I found the first Hobbit film a bit of a letdown. Compared to the Lord of the Rings film, it just lacked a certain spark to elevate it to the same level. Still, I already know that I'm going to be watching this sequel and, if early reviews are to be believed, the sequel is much improved over the original. It has more snap, less drag and plenty of meat (in terms of story) to go along with all that action. A lot of people are up in arms about adding in material to flesh out a rather short book - including an expanded role for fan-favorite Legolas (once again played by Orlando Bloom) and adding in an all-new elf character, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly of Lost fame). But, let's face it, The Hobbit does lack in female characters (of any sort) so I don't see the big deal. It looks like Jackson is also dipping back into the extra material and throwing in some more information regarding the rise of Sauron back into power. But the main story once again follows Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his merry band of dwarves on their quest to retake the ancient dwarven home that has been taken over by the fierce dragon Smaug (who we finally get to meet and is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Also, I hear Stephen Colbert has a cameo as a Laketown spy (along with his family) - so keep an eye out for that. I have a feeling this is going to be just what the doctor ordered - I hope it is as good a sequel as Catching Fire turned out to be but I will certainly let you know as I am anticipating this one.

A MADEA CHRISTMAS So who, pray tell, would dare to go up against Jackson and the might of The Hobbit? Why, none other than everyone's favorite sassy cross-dresser Tyler Perry. And you know what? I think it is a brilliant piece of counter-programming. It's not that the audience for Madea won't see The Hobbit - I'm just guessing there isn't that big of a crossover. And even though I have never seen the appeal of Perry films myself, he has a following and his films always do better than I would expect. Even in the face of what should be massive competition - I have a feeling this Christmas film is going to do better than I would expect.

Only two movies opening this weekend, but there should still be some major fireworks at the box office. With Frozen and Catching Fire still pulling in some decent numbers, it should hopefully be one of the better weekends of the year. And the next few weeks should be interesting as well. See you Sunday when the final numbers come in.


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