I’ve seen three of the four major titles opening over Thanksgiving weekend (Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Red Dawn, Rise of the Guardians), and there’s no question that SLP delivers the most in the way of robust, live-wire, audience-friendly satisfaction. But tracking stats indicate that the awareness levels aren’t there yet, hence the Weinstein Co.’s decision to open SLP limited on 11.16 to get the buzz going.

One rule-of-thumb is that total awareness needs to be above 50 if a film is going to make more than $10 million over the Thanksgiving weekend. Right now or very recently total awareness for Life of Pi is/was at 57, Red Dawn is/was at 58, and Rise of the Guardians is/was at 58. Silver Linings Playbook is (or was very recently) at 30. Everything will turn around once it opens and the word spreads, but right now Joe and Jane Popcorn are looking at that obviously referenced and complex-sounding title and going “wait…what’s that again?”

Right now Pi, Dawn and Guardians are first-choice picks ahead of SLP, but awareness is the key problem.

I haven’t seen Red Dawn but I’m not hearing many good things. Paramount’s Rise of the Guardians is a highly spirited, razzle-dazzle animated family flick. Life of Pi is Ang Lee‘s visually ravishing, somewhat meditative, prestige-level adaptation with a spiritual current or after-glow. Silver Linings Playbook is one of the best date movies I’ve ever seen in my life and a guaranteed Best Picture contender.