The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug aims for another huge box office haul.

YEP, the Christmas season is soon upon us, which means that some of the year’s most anticipated flicks should be arriving in cinemas anytime soon...well, hopefully. First tentpole flick of the season sees The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (11.12) on screens around the country. While some were let down by the first instalment, nearly half a billion dollars in global box office means the LOTR machine is still chugging along nicely.

Winner of the Palme d´or in Cannes 2013, Blue is the Warmest Colour (13.11) offers the tale of love between two teenage girls. But what becomes of them after they enter adulthood?

For those who like their films more beige in colour, A Late Quartet (20.12) offers the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken wielding a bow, as one half of world-renowned string quartet that is struggling to stay together.

Steering the ship into indie territory after the flop of his recent Fockers outing, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (27.12) sees Ben Stiller stepping both in front and behind the camera. Based on James Thurber’s short story, here Stiller’s magazine publishing firm proofreader retreats into his fantasy world, where viewers are treated to a wide world of imagination. Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine round out the cast.

Vince Vaugh offers up Delivery Man (3.1), as an aging slacker who finds out his former days of sperm donations have resulted in the birth of a lazy 533 children. Upping the ante somewhat in quality the same day, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (3.1) promises yet another memorable film from one of cinema’s greatest directors. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey star in the true story of wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort, with the dizzy heights of his success matched only by a fall from grace involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

If your still at a loose end on the same day, Grudge Match (3.1) offers the baffling concept of retired boxers Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro deciding to settle a long-standing beef by heading back into the ring after 30 years. Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, and Jon Bernthal costar.

Oldboy (10.1) sees Spike Lee remake director Chan-wook Park’s critically acclaimed 2003 thriller, with Josh Brolin’s advertising executive abducted and placed in solitary confinement for 20 years. Time to seek revenge, then.

Finally, Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal team up, only to butt heads in Prisoners (17.1). After two girls go missing, daddy Jackman starts to go off the rails in spectacular style, kidnapping the main suspect, with Gyllenhaal’s detective lagging behind.

James O’Sullivan