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After a weak overall summer box office (down 14.7 percent from 2013), movies like "Mockingjay," the Will Smith-produced musical "Annie" (Dec. 19), Ridley Scott's Moses epic, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" (Dec. 12) and Peter Jackson's final Tolkien film, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (Dec. 17) will try to bring the crowds back.
Other performances to watch include Robert Downey Jr. in the courtroom drama "The Judge," Meryl Streep as Stephen Sondheim's witch in "Into the Woods" (Dec. 25), Benedict Cumberbatch as a WWII code breaker in "The Imitation Game" (Nov. 21), Bill Murray as a cantankerous next-door-neighbor in "St. Vincent" (Oct. 24) and Mia Wasikowska as a camel-totting Australian trekker in "Tracks" (Sept. 19).
No movie will offer more pronounced cross-programming to the prestige pictures of autumn than "Dumb and Dumber To" (Nov.14), the long-in-the-works sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels comedy of extreme idiocy. But even the resurrection of fools required serious conviction.
"There was the battle of 'that was then, this is now,' and, 'It's not going to work.' All those guys keep their job by saying no," says Daniels. "But we kept going, 'How can this miss?' Jim and I would look at each other and say, 'This is a no-brainer' — so to speak."