Box Office Bounce?
By Kate Bonamici

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Can a few kid flicks salvage what has been a miserable year in the movie business? For just the second time in two decades, box office revenues are down--by about 8% through late October. But the enormous success of claymation-comedy Wallace & Gromit--it took in more than $70 million in its first three weeks--gave DreamWorks an unexpected boost heading into the fall. Mid-November brings Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and if the fourth outing for Harry & Co. lives up to the performance of the first three, Warner Brothers (a division of Time Warner, parent of FORTUNE's publisher) should rake in well over $200 million in the U.S. alone. The biggest fall movie to watch will be King Kong: Peter Jackson's three-hour remake cost more than $200 million. Universal is counting on Jackson's magic touch to bring in the crowds and turn it into a Lord of the Rings--style smash. But Hollywood will be keeping a close eye on two other big-budget kid's films, Chicken Little and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with good reason: Of the 20 top-grossing films of the past five years, nine were children's movies.