Christmas is looking merrier for "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" than it is for "Jack Reacher."
On Thursday, pre-release data for movies opening Christmas week became available throughout Hollywood, where industry insiders eat up the pre-release surveys known as "tracking." Executives analyze the data to determine which offerings audiences are excited to see, which ones they're not, and how to adjust marketing plans accordingly.
Universal Pictures' "Les Miserables," based on the Broadway musical, and The Weinstein Co.'s slave revenge story "Django," directed by Quentin Tarantino, both open Dec. 25 and are on track for strong openings, according to several people who have seen the tracking but were not authorized to discuss the information publicly.
But Paramount Pictures' Tom Cruise action film "Jack Reacher," which opens Dec. 21, is generating far less interest. Also tracking softly are comedies "The Guilt Trip," (Paramount) "This is 40" (Universal) and "Parental Guidance," (20th Century Fox) while the 3-D re-release of "Monsters Inc." from Walt Disney Studios appears headed for an unimpressive opening similar to that of "Finding Nemo 3-D" in September. All four films debut in the U.S. and Canada between Dec. 19 and Christmas Day.