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      Holiday movie releases key for strong box office, award returns

      Anchorman 2 will be one of many new releases during the holiday season. Photo: Dreamworks

      (WJLA) - The holiday season is always prime for the latest new releases at the movie theater, and there's a special strategy that goes into when certain new flicks are released.

      Between The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hobbit and Anchorman 2 - all considered to be this season's tent-pole films - there's a science to determining the release dates of films considered to be the biggest moneymakers each eyar.

      According to Russell Williams, a two-time Academy Award winner and a teacher at American University, says that the pressure is usually on studios and filmmakers to capitalize on their two weeks to capture an audience during the busy six-week holiday season.

      "There's a limited pie you're splitting up," Williams said. "The history shows you it's bad to put those sort of movies that have a similar audience appeal against each other the same weekend."

      Meanwhile, there's also awards season to think about, which is why studios try to position what they perceive to be their strongest work near the end of the year.

      "Voting members of the Academy probably can't remember what we saw back in February or March, so they try to position the ones they assume will be in Oscar contention toward the end of the year."