Some open to qualify for the Oscars.
Others open to catch the holiday movie crowd, especially Jewish families who don't celebrate Christmas and go to the movie theaters instead.
A host of high profile films are making their debuts this December. Are there any you have seen or plan to go see?
The holiday movie season, in most people's minds, began on Dec. 14, when The Hobbitt: An Unexpected Journey opened to long lines of teenagers waiting to see Peter Jackson's latest film. The movie took in $84 million in tickets sales its opening weekend.
Several comedies hit the silver screen in the past week, trying to take advantage of students being out of school and adults being on vacation.
The Guilt Trip, with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogan, debuted on Dec. 19.
This is 40, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, opened on Dec. 21.
Tom Cruise's latest film, Jack Reacher, also debuted on Dec. 21.
The Impossible, a film starring Naomi Watts and Ewan MacGregor about a family's struggle to survive the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, also hit the theaters on Friday.
The most anticipated movie of season, Les Miserables, will open on Christmas Day. The dramatic musical, based on the award-winning play and the book by Victor Hugo, is receiving Oscar buzz. It stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
An alternative to Les Miserables will be Parental Guidance, a comedy starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott. It also opens on Dec. 25.
Some films are opening in a limited number of theaters simply to qualify for the 2013 Oscars. Experts say there are distinct advantages to opening in December. Among them, your film is fresh in Hollywood's mind when nominating voting begins on Dec. 17.
Some movies, including Les Miserables and Parental Guidance, are widely opening in hopes of grabbing a large share of the Christmas movie-going audience. A significant portion of movie goers on Christmas Day are Jewish faithful who don't celebrate the Christian holiday and go the movies instead.