It's December! And with temperatures dropping around the country, what better way to spend the second weekend of the month than by heading to a heated movie theater with a large bucket of warm popcorn in your lap? Whether you're into spy stories, romance or raunchy comedies, this weekend's slate of releases is sure to fill your holiday appetite (before you realize it's time to go shopping for gifts). So, which film will end up winning the box office this weekend? Let's find out in the Weekend Movie Preview.

NATIONWIDE RELEASES

'New Year's Eve'
What's the story: From director Garry Marshall -- who helmed the equally star-studded holiday-themed 2010 film, 'Valentine's Day' -- 'New Year's Eve' follows the lives of several individuals in New York City on the titular holiday. The film stars (deep breath) Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and Sofia Vergara.

Box office projection: Based on the amount of New York City subways for 'New Year's Eve,' you might assume this film is poised to break box-office records. It won't, despite the pedigree of 'Valentine's Day,' which had a very nice $56 million opening. Remember: competition in February of 2010 was nowhere near the level that 'New Year's Eve' faces. As a result: $25 million.



[Showtime & Tickets]



'The Sitter'
What's the story: Non-skinny Jonah Hill stars in this raunchy comedy about a college dropout who starts babysitting. Unfortunately, he doesn't make a very good babysitter, dragging the kids he's looking after to seedy bars and house parties, all while being chased by two drug dealers. Parents, beware.

Box office projection: 'The Sitter' will be the only R-rated comedy out in theaters this weekend, so it's likely going to gross more money than people think. That said, there are still plenty of college kids going to see 'The Muppets,' which may take away from 'The Sitter.' $10 million.



[Showtime & Tickets]



LIMITED RELEASES

If you live in a big city (or a town with an independent movie theater), there are plenty of quality releases out this weekend. The midlife crisis, drug-fueled 'I Melt With You' -- starring Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe and Thomas Jane -- opens, as does the documentary 'Knuckle,' about the brutal journey of an Irish Traveller community and their bare-knuckle boxing ways (think a real-life version of the pikeys in 'Snatch'). 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,' starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt (take that, 'New Year's Eve' all-star cast!) has a limited run in New York and Los Angeles before opening wide next week. Charlize Theron's 'Young Adult' is also in limited engagement, before its nationwide debut on December 16. Last but not least are the Madonna-directed 'W.E.' along with 'We Need to Talk About Kevin,' both getting a one-week Oscar run before opening in early 2012.

[Photo: Warner Bros.]



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