23 December 2012 10:03 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Pre-Christmas weekends vary wildly in performance year by year, depending on where the dates fall (the closer to Christmas, the worse the business until December 25) and the strength of new openings. With the debuting films this year ranging for modest to weak, whatever strength there was came from the second week of "The Hobbit," which took a steep (but not unusual) fall from its smaller-than-expected opening. The result is a so-so total gross at best. It looks like the fate of this holiday is in the hands of next Tuesday's highly anticipated openers, "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" as well as "Parental Guidance." After an adult-and "Twilight"-driven superb Thanksgiving, Christmas could prove a letdown. But that remains to be seen: when Christmas comes, every weekday is a Saturday and audiences rebound in the largest numbers of the year. Apart from the top tem, the other big news is the strong weekend gross of. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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