2. "Skyfall" (Nov. 8). There's something about James Bond that holds cross-generational appeal. In a recent Most Admired Men poll — timed for the icon's 50th anniversary — Ask Men readers ranked this fictional spy above the likes of Usain Bolt, Bill Clinton, and the equally fictional Christian Grey. "Skyfall" may feel overdue for aficionados who had to wait four years for this latest Bond installment, thanks to MGM debt issues. That's not quite as long a wait as the six-year period between the Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan eras, and the same amount of time they had to wait for Daniel Craig's. American audiences do have to wait longer than their overseas counterparts for the opening date: The movie cashed in $100 million in its first week, and searches for the Adele theme song (which rocketed up to No. 1 on iTunes) have been bonkers. Burning search questions about "Skyfall": "What pistol does james bond carry in skyfall" (there's a list here) "skyfall bond girl" (Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris), and "skyfall shower scene" (you have Marlohe to thank for convincing Craig to drop his swim trunks)
1. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2" (Nov. 15). This last installment should have been a triumphant, swooning femme epic, presenting Bella, Edward, and little Renesmee as a tight nuclear vampire family, backed up by the gathering of the clans and wolf packs to defend themselves against the Volturi coven. The online romantic fantasy however was threatened by off-screen two-timing: In July, Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson, her co-star and beau of four years, with a married man — namely, the director of her other big epic, "Snow White and the Huntsman." Craven! But, Stewart reportedly wooed her brokenhearted man back with a video montage of their greatest hits, just weeks before their red-carpet premiere. Are Twi-hards satisfied? Maybe, maybe not: Film-related searches for "Breaking Dawn" are down by a third, compared to this same time period before the "Breaking Dawn, Part 1" premiere. (Oddly Utah — which used to lead those queries, has dropped off the search map, with Tennessee, Texas, and the lower Midwest now in the lead). Still, score one for the faithful female audience, which makes this by far the most anticipated film of the season.
Honorable mention: "Zero Dark Thirty" (Dec. 19). Previously dubbed the Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project, the movie about the death of Osama bin Laden at last has a name. Bigelow holds the title of first (and only) female director to win an Oscar ("Hurt Locker"), and she's back to tackling military triumphs. It'll be opening only in New York and Los Angeles, just enough time for Oscar contention, and will open wide in January. Overall buzz is small, but searches have accelerated 11,219% in the past month, which means word's spreading fast.