January is already mostly over, bet there are still 11 months left in the year and two weekends left in January, so it is certainly not too late to look forward and examine the upcoming movies of 2012. In doing so, I am not going to list off every single movie that will be made. That would be a very long and boring blog post. I will just go over the highlights of the year and talk about some of the major movies coming out. Now it will be an early look for sure. There are always several titles that take people by surprise as to how good they are and other movies that seem to come out of nowhere to be really good, but nevertheless I will proceed. And I am going to do this in thirds. Instead of going month by month, I will look at the movies coming out in the first third of the month, January through April, then the second third, May through August, and finally the last third, September through December. Enjoy!
Late Winter / Spring – January through April – January has brought us some decent hits so far for being a slow month. The Devil Inside opened to the 3rd biggest January openings with a total in the mid 30 million range while both Contraband and Beauty and the Beast 3D re-release had good releases in the 20 million range. There are still a few decent movies to be released in January, but in the first third of the year, the biggest movies come in the month of March. There are five weekends in this March and each weekend has something intriguing each weekend. It starts with another rendition of a Dr. Seuss classic with The Lorax. The Lorax is from the creators of Despicable Me and stars Zac Efron and Taylor Swift. An eyebrow raising movie in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was planned to combat the Lorax on this weekend, but recently decided to postpone its release until January of 2013. The second weekend in March brings John Carter to the big spring. No, that’s not an actor’s name, it’s a movie title. A movie that was almost going to be the first animated movie ever and now ironically becomes Pixar’s first live action film. A huge budget of nearly $300 million was spent on this movie, so anything shorter than a blockbuster would be an epic failure. The 3rd week of March begins an odd fetish with Snow White as Mirror Mirror becomes the first of two Snow White films, both of which have nothing to do with each other. Mirror Mirror easily looks like it will be the worst of the two. Mirror Mirror is challenged in week three by the movie remake of 21 Jump Street, the TV show that made Johnny Depp famous. This will star Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, but will have a cameo appearance by Johnny Depp himself. The fourth weekend brings the much anticipated Hunger Games. With Harry Potter coming to an end last year and Twilight coming to an end this year, The Hunger Games plans on being the next big popular book series turned into a series of movies with the goal of not having the same fate as other failed series translations on the big screen like Percy Jackson and Eragon. Eddie Murphey’s new movie A Thousand Words wisely rescheduled itself from the Hunger Games weekend to April 20th. Finally for March we get the sequel to Clash of the Titans, called The Wrath of the Titans in the last weekend of March. Trying not to get lost in all of this is a fun animated movie called Pirates! Band of Misfits starring Hugh Jackman. Now we will remove ourselves from the big month of March and take a look at some of the highlights of the less busy months in this time frame. A 3D re-release craze will continue in this time period. We have already seen Beauty and the Beast get another shot at the big screen. April will bring Titanic back into theaters with it being the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. And I’m sure James Cameron is stoked to earn more money on this after the success he had with Avatar in 3D. George Lucas never seems to be done with his Star Wars work and the latest in this is re-releasing Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in the 3D in February. Speaking of George Lucas, he’s also decided to branch out and work on a project that doesn’t have anything to do with Star Wars or Indiana Jones as he releases Red Tails this weekend (Jan 20th). Speaking of this weekend, the Underworld franchise will see their 4th movie with Underworld Awakening and January will end with Liam Neesen in The Grey. February has Daniel Radcliff on the big screen with The Woman in Black. It will be interesting to see him in a non-Harry Potter role. For those who liked Ghost Rider and Journey to the Center of the Earth, February will provide sequels to those movies with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (I’m sure there was no pun intended on that one…). Ending this segment with April, April is riddled with a bunch of smaller name movies of which I’m sure there will be a title or two that will end up on top of the rest. A remake of The Three Stooges is included in this as well as some movies for those who like dirtier comedies with American Reunion and Scary Movie 5.
Summer – May through August – This past summer had a lot of good movies get released but none were box office shattering movies. The Harry Potter finale was the top summer movie with $380 million. Instead there were a lot of movies that did decently good in the box office. This summer should be a little different by being a lot more lopsided. There are two extremely hyped up films that both should be at least $400 million and possibly both have $500 million if it turns out to be an amazing showing for both. I’m sure you can easily guess the two movies I’m thinking of. The first one is the movie that starts the summer off in the first weekend of May. That movie is The Avengers. The Avengers is finally here after building up to it for several years with 5 movies made just to set this one up. Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor will all finally get to team up in a movie event that should be quite epic. The second movie that will dominate the summer is The Dark Knight Rises. The Dark Knight was the second movie to climb north of $500 million domestically. Comic Book fans everywhere called this the best comic book movie ever. Obviously that is opinion based, but that type of reaction will certainly ensure crowds running to the theaters to see the series finale this summer. Those are the two main titles of the summer, but there is a decent supporting cast of movies around the two. There aren’t a whole lot of movies daring enough to open up in the shadow of the Avengers, but in two weeks Battleship hopes that crowds have died down enough for there to be good crowds to see it. Yes, Battleship is based on the Battleship game, which seems like a slightly odd game to make a movie out of. Sure I loved the game, but it’s not one that has its own storyline to work with. But nonetheless, it looks like it will be a good movie. It brings with it an interesting cast that features Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neesen, and yes, Rihanna. May will conclude with Men in Black trying to pull a Toy Story-esque move with Men in Black III, released ten years after the second one. I’m a fan of Will Smith, so I won’t be complaining about this. June starts with the second of the two Snow White films, Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s a planned trilogy with Snow White and while it certainly is an odd take on Snow White, it should quite amazing. It has a mostly great cast with the one question mark being who was the bright one that decided to cast Kristen Stewart as Snow White. June also has one of the biggest sequel happy companies at it again. Dreamwork’s Madagascar 3 will be released in the second week of June. It will be rivaled by the alien movie Promitheus. June ends rather busy as several makes make an attempt to have a good start and run before The Dark Knight takes control of all theaters in mid-July. The third week we have another dip into the fairy tale vault with Jack the Giant Killer, which looks to be a rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk. Adam Sandler will also jump into the crowded June group with his movie Donny’s Boy. For those people complaining about all the remakes and sequels and lack of original movies, the fourth week of June will be pleasing as it has two original movies planned. The first one dips quite deep into the jar of creativity with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Apparently what none of us knew about Lincoln is that his mother was killed by a vampire and he thus became passionate about killing vampires. Should be quite the ride. The other original movie this week comes with a Disney-Pixar original animated movie with Brave. Finally, June will end with the GI Joe sequel GI Joe: Retaliation. As mentioned previously, the Dark Knight Rises will come to theaters in the third week of July. On the first week of July will be The Amazing Spider-Man. This is quite the risky project in remaking Spider-Man so soon. This could be one of the biggest mistakes in recent movie making history, or it could bring high rewards if it turns out better than the Tobey McGuire Spider-Man series. With both Spider-Man and Batman hitting the big screen in July, not many movies plan on challenging them. There are a few smaller movies throughout the month, but the one movie brave enough to fight them is Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. This fourth Ice Age will be in theaters right in between Spider-Man and Batman. At first it seems like a head scratcher because the third Ice Age wasn’t that popular in the US, but this fourth one is being made because Ice Age 3 was one of the biggest international movies ever. August is typically the quietest summer month, but there are a few movies that plan on surfacing after the Dark Knight Rises party begins to die down a bit. First up to plate is what initially looks like the dumbest idea of the summer. The Bourne Series will continue with Bourne Legacy as the fourth installment, but for some reason, the franchise decided to make this fourth movie without Matt Damon. I don’t quite know what they were thinking on that one, but maybe they know something I don’t. Dorothy of Oz may come out on that weekend as well, although I’m not a hundred percent sure they have that date set in stone. Now Dorothy of Oz is an animated sequel to Wizard of Oz and you may be wondering why make a sequel after over 70 years (yes, I know there were a couple other sequels, but they fell flat on their face and this one is a direct sequel to the original), but a little known fact is that there were a whole ton of books written and finally someone realized this and decided to take advantage of it. Wrapping up the summer we get a sneak peak into Halloween season with the animated movie ParaNorman that has the animation feel of Corpse Bride and Coraline, being that it is by the same people. Last but not least we have Chuck Norris and Friends, or better yet The Expendables 2. I just like to call it Chuck Norris and Friends because they invited Chuck Norris along for the ride for this one. And he’s already started taking control with demanding that they remove the foul language in order for it to be a PG-13 rating. Way to go Chuck!
Fall / Early Winter – September through December – September is always one of the slowest months of the year. But it’s also the time of year where the Oscar Buzz starts following movies and towards the start of September is a movie that is sure to get some. That movie is Argo. Now Ben Affleck has seemingly disappeared in the last several years but he returns in this one as the director and the lead actor in this movie about the Iranian revolution. Early September will also have Disney’s next 3D re-release with Finding Nemo returning to the big screen. If it theoretically earns as much as Lion King did last September it will break the top 10 in the all-time domestic box office. The third movie in that same weekend as the previous two mentioned is the fifth installment in the Resident Evil franchise with Resident Evil: Retribution. After that we are thrown into what should be an epic Halloween season. This Halloween is kicked off in late September by Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Now those two have done movies together, but this one will be quite unique. They are doing an animated family movie together called Hotel Transylvania. It also has Miley Cyrus in it. Ending September we have Bruce Willis and Joseph-Gordon Leavitt teaming up in the action movie Looper. The premise is that a killer working for a future club realizes that one of his targets is his future self. Two weeks after Hotel Transylvania in the actual month of October another animated Halloween movie. This one is Frankenweenie. If it reminds you of Frankenstein, that’s because it is. But with a dog instead of a man as the monster. The other interesting thing is the fact that this is a Tim Burton movie. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Tim Burton animated movie, but he is now back this year. In addition to the two animated movies, this Halloween season also brings quite the lineup of Horror films. First is a remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre which in this instance will be called Leatherface 3D. The second Horror film will be the 4th installment of the recently popular Paranormal franchise, Paranormal 4. Finally, the third big horror film, coming out right before Halloween will be Halloween 3D, the third movie of the recently remade Halloween series. Thrown into the mix in October will be the Taken 2, the sequel to the original Taken movie made back in 2008. As we swing into November, we will see several big name actors and actress make it to the big screen. This includes Chris Hemsworth in Red Dawn, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Gravity, Robert De Niro in The Silver Lining Playbook, Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin, and Billy Crystal in Parental Guidance. 3 major movies will hit the big screen in November in addition to that. The biggest one is sure to be The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. This will be the finale of the Twilight Saga and finales to big hit series typically do very well compared to their predecessors. The next movie in the James Bond series will also premier in November. This one is Skyfall. The last movie of note in November is another animated movie that is quite the clever idea. It will be about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, and the Sandman all teaming up to fight against the Bogeyman. How’s that for a storyline? The movie is called Rise of the Guardians and is actually a film adaption of the book called The Guardians of Childhood. Now if you have made it this far in this blog post I commend you because this has been quite the project. 2012 will end with quite the lineup of movies. It starts with another film adaption of the popular play Les Miserables. This version will have an all-star lineup of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham-Carter. In an unspecified date sometime in December, Steven Spielberg will release his movie called Lincoln. I will let you take a guess as to who this movie is about. It has Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and quite the cast around him which includes Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Tommy Lee Jones. December also has two popular books get turned into movies. First is World War Z starring Brad Pitt, a story about the Zombie Apocalypse. The second is the F Scott Fitzgerald classic novel The Great Gatsby, which will star Leonardo DeCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Tobey McGuire. And finally we are at an end. Saving one of the best for last, coming out in mid-December is the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The famous Lord of the Rings prequel brings back Peter Jackson as director and much of the cast of the Lord of the Rings movies as well. In order to translate the book into a movie, they have decided to split this into two movies and this will be the first part. In addition to the original stars from Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit will bring in Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, Martin Freeman as young Bilbo Baggins, and Luke Evans as Bard.
Well that is officially a wrap. I hope you had as much as fun as I did. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe the length of this bored you, but I can tell you that after doing this, I am certainly stoked for the many great movies of 2012.