It’s hard to say what the biggest news of this holiday movie-season will be. The final performance of Daniel Day-Lewis? Disney-Pixar’s first Hispanic-themed feature? The Oscar trifecta of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg with the journalism drama “The Post”?
At the moment, the movie industry needs all the excitement it can get. Following a summer of major bombs like “The Mummy,” plus the worst October in a decade (including George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” one of Paramount’s lowest-opening movies ever), this year’s box-office take stands at $8.7 billion. Hollywood has just two months left to reach the $11.4 billion total of last year.
Ticket sales ought to be brisk for at least two holiday-season blockbusters: One is “Justice League,” the superhero ensemble film starring Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and the other is “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which brings back Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. There are also high hopes for “The Greatest Showman,” a musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” the rare horror film that’s being hailed as a strong Oscar contender.
Here are some movies that could make this season, and this year, a bright one.
Ben Affleck’s Batman, center, and Henry Cavill’s Superman, now friends again, form an alliance with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, right), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller, left). In theaters Nov. 17.
A boy with facial differences (Jacob Tremblay, “Room”) tries to fit in at a new school. Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts play his parents. In theaters Nov. 17.
'Roman J. Israel, Esq.'
Denzel Washington plays the title role in this drama about a do-gooder attorney who gets mixed up with some very bad people. With Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo. In theaters Nov. 17.
Gary Oldman, wearing roughly 20 pounds of makeup and prosthetics, plays British Prime Winston Churchill during the early years of World War II. In early Oscar betting, Oldman is the current favorite. In theaters Nov. 17.
Disney-Pixar’s latest animated film is a Latin-themed fantasy about a budding young musician, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), who must prove his worth by entering the Land of the Dead. With the voices of Benjamin Bratt and Gael García Bernal. In theaters Nov. 22.
'Call Me By Your Name'
Luca Guadagnino’s romantic drama has drawn some criticism for its age-inappropriate relationship between a teenager (Timothee Chalamet, right) and a 24-year-old scholar (Armie Hammer). Based on Andre Aciman’s novel. In theaters Nov. 24.
'The Disaster Artist'
The story behind the 2003 drama “The Room,” often called the worst film ever made. James Franco, right, plays the enigmatic filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, while Dave Franco, left, plays young actor Greg Sestero, whose tragicomic memoir is the basis for this film. Directed by James Franco. In theaters Dec. 1.
'The Shape of Water'
In Guillermo del Toro’s latest, Sally Hawkins, pictured, plays a mute cleaning woman at a government facility where a strange creature is held captive. With Michael Shannon. In theaters Dec. 1.
In Coney Island during the 1950s, four people cross paths: a hard-luck actress (Kate Winslet), a carousel operator (Jim Belushi), an aspiring playwright (Justin Timberlake, pictured) and a girl on the run from gangsters (Juno Temple). Written and directed by Woody Allen. In theaters Dec. 1.
The tragic-comic story of figure-skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), whose connection to a physical attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, ended her career. With Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan. In theaters Dec. 8.
An animated adaptation of the 1936 children’s book about Madrid’s gentlest bull. John Cena is the voice of the title role. Also with Kate McKinnon and Bobby Cannavale. In theaters Dec. 15.
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
The second film in the new “Star Wars” trilogy sees the return of Daisy Ridley, pictured, as the scrappy warrior Rey, Adam Driver as the powerful Kylo Ren and Mark Hamill as the now-legendary Luke Skywalker. Directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper”). In theaters Dec. 15.
'The Greatest Showman'
Hugh Jackman, pictured, plays the circus impresario P.T. Barnum in this musical biopic. With Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. Songs by Oscar-winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”). Directed by newcomer Michael Gracey. In theaters Dec. 20.
'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'
In this sequel to the 1995 family film “Jumanji,” four teenagers are sucked into an old video game and must play for their lives. With, from left,Nick Jonas, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. In theaters Dec. 20.
'All the Money in the World'
A drama about the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer). In a last-minute move by director Ridley Scott, Kevin Spacey’s performance as oil tycoon John Paul Getty will be removed from the film due to recent sexual assault allegations against the actor. Spacey is being replaced by Christopher Plummer (no relation to Charlie). Also starring Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg. In theaters Dec. 22.
In the near future, scientists discover the solution to overcrowding and climate change: Shrink everyone to just five inches tall. Matt Damon plays a man who decides to take the plunge. With Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, and newcomer Hong Chau. Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne (“Election”). In theaters Dec. 22.
'Pitch Perfect 3'
The a cappella superstars of the Barden Bellas are out of college, in the workforce and looking for any excuse to get the band back together. Trish Sie direct this threequel, which stars Rebel Wilson, left, with Anna Kendrick, and Hailee Steinfeld. In theaters Dec. 22.
In 1971, The Washington Post publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), and editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), incur the wrath of the U.S. government for publishing the Pentagon Papers. Directed by Steven Spielberg. In theaters Dec. 22.
Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with the wild tale of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain, left,), a one-time Olympic skier who later ran some of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker games. With Michael Cera, Kevin Costner and Idris Elba, right. In theaters Dec. 25.
In what is intended as his final performance, Daniel Day-Lewis plays a famous dressmaker whose new muse (Vicky Krieps) proves difficult to control. Paul Thomas Anderson (“American Hustle”) wrote, directed and served as cinematographer. In theaters Dec. 25.