Ten Films That Will Make or Break 2012
By Chris Kavan - 01/05/12 at 12:32 PM CT
Bid farewell to 2011 and the disappointing box office numbers, and welcome 2012, in which Hollywood hopes to bounce back. In that regard, there are a number of films that will shape the landscape. These new releases in 2012 will either boost the box office or fail in their endeavors and provide another lackluster year. Yet considering the slate of films, I have a feeling 2012 will be, if not a record year, then certainly better than 2011.
Here are the ten films I believe represent the best hope for 2012 (in order of release date):
The Hunger Games (March 23, 2012): Based on the wildly popular novel by Suzanne Collins, this looks to be the next big tween/teen franchise hit following in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Twilight. I myself enjoyed the books well enough that I'm quite interested to see if the films can pull off that same feeling. Some people compare this to Battle Royale simply because it features a story line of a bunch of teens fighting it out to the death, but whereas Battle Royale was all about the killing (and not so much character) - Hunger Games goes a bit deeper than just the visceral aspect. This is releasing early, which means it will avoid much competition, but it's also a risky move. If audiences embrace this (and the buzz factor is high) expect an early victory for Hollywood.
The Avengers (May 4, 2012): It seems the summer movie season starts earlier and earlier each year, and in 2012, The Avengers is going to really kick off the blockbuster season. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury - these are some super friends all right. There may have been a bit of super hero overload last year, but I figure this will still draw a huge audience. Whether it can top $300 million is debatable, but I bet it will end up in the top 5 for the year.
Prometheus (June 8, 2012): Ridley Scott returns to his Alien roots with this prequel/original sci-fi story. Considering Scott's track record with these type of films, I expect good things to come out of this. It's kind of up-in-the air at this point in time how well it will do. If he can channel the spirit of the first two Alien films, it should be a winner. I just hope it doesn't end up like the final two Alien films, which were not nearly as impressive.
Brave (June 22, 2012): Pixar is always a big draw - and the stakes are pretty high. Not being a fan of Cars, I skipped animated features this year. However, this film has me looking forward to watching cartoons once again. Actually using a female lead character and throwing in some Scottish mythology - only Pixar could get away with telling a story like this and I have a feeling it's going to turn out just as magical as their other films and become an instant classic on its own.
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012): Despite grumblings about Bane being unintelligible, I have no doubt this will be one of the top three films this year. It's the final pairing of Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale as they take Batman out with bang. It will have a tough time topping The Dark Knight in terms of scope, but I have a feeling it's also not going to be a letdown.
Skyfall (Nov. 12, 2012): For awhile it looked like James Bond might not be back, but thankfully he was only a bit delayed. With Daniel Craig fresh off The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it should be interesting to see where they go. While I liked Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace wasn't nearly as good. I'm hoping they've learned their lesson and get back on track. This venerable series is a perennial favorite, so I'm guessing it will bring in a decent chunk of people.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (Nov. 16, 2012): I'm no fan of the series, but I'm guessing this final installment will bring in the biggest crowds. It should echo the finale of Harry Potter and go out with its head held high. I don't know if it will break records, but it should be able to bring in some pretty good returns.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14, 2012): Peter Jackson's triumphant return to Middle Earth should rival The Dark Knight Rises for top movie of the year. Expectations are high after the awards and vast piles of cash the LOTR trilogy hauled in. I'm still not sure how this will compare given the source material, but I have a feeling Jackson will once again steer this in the right direction and elevate fantasy to a higher level.
World War Z - (Dec. 21, 2012): Some might argue that The Amazing Spider-Man or Men in Black III or Batteship should be recognized, but I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't anticipating this film. Despite changing the premise from the book, I still think this will be a thinking-man's zombie film. With Brad Pitt leading the charge, I hope this will be a zombie film unlike any other. With a potential trilogy lined up, it will be interesting to see if audiences will accept this concept.
Django Unchained (Dec. 25, 2012) - Ah, Quentin Tarantino, it has been too long. Somehow this film looks to combine Do the Right Thing with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - that is, a spaghetti western meets civil rights. And the cast looks amazing Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and... Don Johnson?! Anyway, some familiar faces, some new to Tarantino family, but I have yet to miss one of his films in the theater since Kill Bill, and I'm not about to start now.
Any films you're looking forward to that you think will make an impact on the box office? Star Wars in 3D? John Carter? American Reunion? Say your peace and let's get 2012 off to a great start.