Thanksgiving has arrived, and that means only one thing: turkey stuffing cranberry sauce biscuits gravy pumpkin pie movies! If you get tired of seeing your extended family over the long weekend -- or if you want to experience the joys of theatergoing with your brood -- Hollywood is here to help. A ridiculous seven films hit theaters this weekend, including 'The Muppets,' 'Hugo' and 'Arthur Christmas.' Which film will rule the roost? Let's discuss ahead in the Weekend Movie Preview.

NATIONWIDE RELEASES

'The Muppets'
What's the story: As you may have heard, 'The Muppets' are back! This time with Jason Segel! Following months of advance hype, Kermit and Miss Piggy and all your favorites return to the big screen for an adventure that finds the Muppets trying to save their original 'Muppets Show' theater. Amy Adams and a cavalcade of stars lend a hand to the proceedings.

Box-office projection: If promotional appearances equated to box office, 'The Muppets' would challenge 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' for biggest opening weekend ever. Unfortunately, for Kermie and the gang, they don't. Of course, that won't prevent 'The Muppets' from being the choice for families over this long weekend. A three-day total of $40 million seems more than possible, with the potential for $55 million or more over the five-day holiday. Even better? Expect 'The Muppets,' which has received mostly unanimous critical praise, to have strong legs throughout the holiday season. $41.2 million



[Showtimes & Tickets]



'Hugo'
What's the story: From director Martin Scorsese comes a love letter to film history wrapped in a children's movie about mystery and adventure. Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphaned boy living inside the Paris train station, must team with a young girl (Chloe Moretz) to help and old man (Ben Kingsley) find himself again. 'Hugo' is sweet, beautiful and features some of the best 3D of the year...

Box-office projection: ...but it remains a difficult sell for Paramount. More of a hybrid than a straight-up kids movie, 'Hugo' will certainly appeal to adult cinephiles, but their young children might be a bit bored. 'Hugo' is opening on just 1,200 screens, meaning its three-day box office will be significantly smaller than 'Muppets' and 'Arthur Christmas,' but the hope has to be that this one will have legs throughout the holiday season and into Oscar season; 'Hugo' could play a big role as a possible Best Picture nominee. $9.1 million



[Showtimes & Tickets]



'Arthur Christmas'
What's the story: Santa Claus's youngest son, Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) must try to save Christmas. Featuring the voices of Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy, this is the latest animated adventure from Aardman Animations, the people who brought you 'Wallace & Gromit.'

Box-office projection: The kids movie of the weekend that is a straight-up kids movie. What does 'Arthur Christmas' have in its favor for box-office glory? Besides being in 3D, it's also opening up on the same amount of screens as 'The Muppets.' That market saturation spells bank, and the film's title spells another potentially leggy seasonal hit. Expect the three-day grosses to be on the strong side of modest. $17.6 million



[Showtimes & Tickets]




LIMITED RELEASES

If children's movies don't float your boat -- and if you live in New York or Los Angeles among other major cities -- then here's some great news: Thanksgiving weekend is chockablock with some of the best indie releases of 2011. Out on over 125 screens Wednesday (and 250 by Friday), 'My Week With Marilyn' gives you the chance to see Michelle Williams embody Marilyn Monroe like no actress has done before. She's an early frontrunner for Best Actress and the film itself could land in the Best Picture discussion as well. Also out in limited release: 'The Artist,' the silent and black and white French import that could win Best Picture. Led by Jean Dujardin, the film tells the story of a silent film star at the advent of talkies. It's wonderful and smart and a beautiful love letter to cinema. Elsewhere, 'A Dangerous Method' from director David Cronenberg hits screens. Starring Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Yung, 'Method' deals with the birth of psychoanalysis. 'Rampart,' the crooked cop drama with Woody Harrelson, also debuts.

[Photo: Disney]



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