Duking it out for holiday movies

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MALE CALL: Four big male stars will go mano a mano in the next few weeks, in four big-time Christmas-release movies. As of press time, a big favorite is Jim Carrey in the Andy Kaufman biography "Man on the Moon," according to the Hollywood Stock Exchange barometer. The biopic is being talked up as Mr. Carrey's first Oscar nomination, and the movie's stock price has responded. It could approach the H$100 level by the time the movie opens.

Al Pacino didn't have much luck with "The Insider," though Buena Vista Marketing kept pounding its media money long after the movie continued to be a disappointment. His next effort, as a football coach in "Any Given Sunday," is looking much better, rising in the last few weeks to the H$70 level. Despite low results for "Insider" at the box office, HSX traders kept Mr. Pacino's StarBond trading near its 52-week high.

"The Talented Mr. Ripley," starring Matt Damon, has seen seesawing stock prices in the last three months. Traders may think this movie -- while well-done -- will be lost in the shuffle of other top-flight efforts, including "The Green Mile," a Warner Bros. release starring Tom Hanks. "Ripley" suffered a price slippage in November, and Mr. Damon's own recent StarBond price hasn't been responding well.

"The Hurricane" may be another movie lost among the plethora of serious adult movies this time of year. However, the Denzel Washington vehicle about pro boxer Hurricane Carter has climbed steadily over the last three months and is now near a competitive H$50 price. But this may say more about the film than Mr. Washington. His StarBond is trading at its 52-week low.

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