We Offer A Bird's-Eye View of the Big, the Bad and the Barest Movies of the Holidays

A giant ape, a Christlike lion and conniving impresarios for your stocking

This time of year, the interestsĀ of Hollywood folks travel on parallel tracks: totting up the blockbusters and anticipating the Oscars. Start with the money. The year's top-grossing films in North American release were two sequels (the sixth Star Wars, the fourth Harry Potter) and a remake (War of the Worlds). Another remake (King Kong) may join their ranks. Stay tuned for more of the depressing same.

The remorseless familiarity of most movies is one factor cited in the slumping box office: down 7% in 2005. In the U.S. and Canada, that is. But Hollywood films are a global affair, and in...

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