Let's be honest with ourselves here: "Avatar" is in all likelihood going to dominate the weekend box office once again. It's just the way things are. Sure, the potential always exists that some other mega-release, perhaps "Sherlock Holmes" or "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," might sneak in for a surprise upset. But the odds continue to heavily favor James Cameron's sprawling sci-fi epic.
That said, there are some solid options this week for those who have had enough of Cameron's blue aliens for the time being. Fans of "Avatar" might be inclined to check out "The Book of Eli," a Denzel Washington-starring post-apocalyptic action flick in which the titular book -- and Washington's Eli, the man who protects it -- could be humanity's last hope. I've got to see this, if for no other reason than because Gary Oldman plays the villain.
If you want some action but you've got younger kids to think about as well, there's also "The Spy Next Door." Jackie Chan stars as a soon-to-retire CIA agent who is accidentally caught up in the game once again when one of his fiancée's kids accidentally gets his hands on a top-secret formula and a Russian terrorist comes looking for it.
That's all for wide openings, though "The Lovely Bones" is expanding onto more than 2000 screens. There are also two limited release openings to highlight. "Fish Tank," starring Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, is a family drama about a young girl's relationship with her mother's new boyfriend. Let's just say that the story goes to some dark places. There's also "The Last Station," a Christopher Plummer-starring look at the final year of Russian writer/philosopher Leo Tolstoy's life.