Released last week, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” has ushered in the ever popular Christmas holiday movie season.
Peter Jackson’s follow-up to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy has been packing movie theaters since its first midnight showing Dec. 13.
“’The Lord of the Rings’ was such a big franchise and so many people are coming through here just very excited about it,” said Mike Melloy, assistant manager at Movies 400 in Cumming.
But with Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, “Django Unchained” and the star-studded second silver screen rendition of Broadway’s “Les Misérables,” set to open Christmas Day, “The Hobbit” will have healthy competition as it fights to maintain the top spot.
Regardless of which movie peaks on Christmas, the real winners will be the movie-goers, said Ryan Noonan, a spokesman for AMC Theatres, which operates AMC Avenue Forsyth 12 at the outdoor mall off Peachtree Parkway.
“There are amazing movies available during the holiday season,” he said. “There will be something for everyone at the theater on Christmas.”
While many businesses will be closed for some or all of Dec. 25, most movie theaters across the nation will uphold a long-held tradition of opening to offer entertainment for families.
Studios in years past have shown special releases on Christmas and this year will be no exception.
Melloy said he’s been hearing many comments that “Les Misérables” likely will be the most well-attended movie for families, while the R-rated “Django Unchained” may attract more of an adult audience.
“That’s R-rated, so it can only appeal to a certain demographic and age group,” Melloy said. “We’re more of a family theater than anything else.
“It’s always been the kids’ movies and the family movies that really bring them in for us.”
As for spending time with their own families on Christmas, Melloy said the theater’s first movie that day doesn’t start until 1 p.m. With that and shifted schedules, all the employees will be able to celebrate with family and loved ones either before or after work.
In anticipation of large crowds, the theater will be fully staffed on Christmas, including Melloy, who is working a morning shift and plans to catch up with family in the evening.
“Christmas is a time to get out of the house and go see something as a family. That is one of our busiest days besides Black Friday,” Melloy said. “I think it’s more of a tradition than anything else.”