If you like to watch big, multi-national entertainment companies count gobs of money and boast about who has more, we are fast approaching that time of year.
With Disney and Sony both reaching the $1 billion mark in domestic box-office revenue over the weekend, the overall 2011 revenue horse race is shaping up to be a close one between Paramount and Warner Bros.
Warner is trying to secure a fourth consecutive year of market-share dominance and is currently ahead of No. 2 Paramount by $47.7 million.
But Paramount has number of notable fourth-quarter releases upcoming, starting next week with its Footloose remake, continuing on through part three of its very bankable Paranormal Activity franchise, as well as its next DreamWorks Animation distribution project, Puss In Boots.
Paramount also has two big family adventure movies coming up with Martin Scorsese's Hugo and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin.
For its part, Warner has sequels to Harold and Kumar, Happy Feet and Sherlock Holmes, but will probably finish second based on remaining volume alone.
Another interesting race: not to finish last.
Universal, which has finished in the cellar in domestic revenue among Big 6 studios the last two years, is $152.9 million ahead of Fox through this weekend.
Universal's upcoming slate includes a prequel to the horror-sci classic The Thing, another Johnny English comedy, and the Brett Ratner action-comedy Tower Heist.
Fox's fourth-quarter lineup could be potent, however, starting with David Frankel ensemble comedy The Big Year next weekend. Also upcoming from Fox: futuristic Justin Timberlake thriller In Time; Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter; another CGI hybrid movie from the very profitable Alvin and the Chipmunks well; and the Cameron Crowe dramedy We Bought a Zoo.