Just when we started thinking that the end of December would be a less crowded field, the schedule changes around again. While both Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and Ang Lee's Life of Pi were both moved away from their original Christmas release dates, Universal has apparently made the decision to shift Tom Hooper's upcoming musical adaptation of Les Miserables from December 14th to December 25th.

As noted by Deadline, while the film will now have direct competition with Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and the comedies The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance (not to mention limited releases of Gus van Sant's The Promised Land and Dustin Hoffman's Quartet), in a way the move makes sense because the title is moving away from what is expected to be December's biggest blockbuster juggernaut: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The two movies were originally going to open on the same day, but now Les Miserables is giving the return trip to Middle Earth a two week buffer. The Hobbit is now the only release - wide or limited - on December 14th.

Even with the aforementioned departures of Life of Pi and The Great Gatsby the late December field has exceeded full capacity at this point. In addition to all the movies mentioned above, the week of December 21st will also introduce Christopher McQuarrie's Jack Reacher, Monsters, Inc. 3D, Judd Apatow's This is 40 and Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty to the marketplace. Sure hope that you're all planning to spend most of your winter vacations at the cinema.

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