With "John Carter" flat lining at the box office, all eyes are on "The Hunger Games'" March 23 opening, expecting it to be the biggest debut of the year so far -- and maybe for all of 2012, depending on "Dark Knight Rises" and a few other potential competitors. The film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, held its world premiere in L.A. this week, and is starting to look like a bigger phenomenon than even the books' biggest fans expected. Its box office tracking is through the roof, and may leave "Twilight" in the dust, even approaching "Harry Potter"-like numbers, boosted by IMAX sales. The odds are ever in its favor.
As for the rest of this week's list…
March 15, 2012
1. "The Hunger Games" (Last week: No. 2)
How many of you already have your tickets? Actually, how many of you already have tickets to more than one showing?
2. "The Avengers" (Last week: No. 9)
Take a good look at the heroes in these explosive new character banners. There's even a Bruce Banner banner.
3. "X-Men: First Class 2" (Last week: Not ranked)
Jennifer "Hunger Games" Lawrence says she's interested in reprising her role as Mystique, and they'd be wise to take the soon-to-be-superstar up on her offer now.
4. "Expendables 2" (Last week: Not ranked)
Another sequel that will benefit from the addition of a "Hunger Games" star, in this case Liam Hemsworth.
5. "Battleship" (Last week: No. 4)
A new trailer does its best to excite audiences who love explosions and hate dialogue.
6. "The Lone Ranger" (Last week: Not ranked)
We got our first look at Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as The Ranger last week. Weird.
7. "The Dark Tower" (Last week: Not ranked)
Adapting Stephen King's magnum opus has proved to be a daunting task. A multi-film/TV series epic was axed at Universal, but now Warner Bros. is be eyeing a solo feature based on "The Gunslinger," starring Javier Bardem and directed by Ron Howard. We'll see if it actually happens.
8. "Moonrise Kingdom" (Last week: Not ranked)
Wes Anderson's latest mini-epic will open the Cannes Film Festival. Think his next movie will take place on the Riviera?
9. "Snow White and the Huntsman" (Last week: Not ranked)
Take a peek behind the scenes of the fairy tale starring "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.
10. "Dark Shadows" (Last week: No. 15)
Opening in just two months, we've oddly seen very little from the latest Johnny Depp-Tim Burton extravaganza. The trailer is coming though.
11. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Last week: No. 13)
Get ready for a video game version, from the producers of "Arkham City." Also, is it strange that three movies on this list have "Dark" in the title?
12. "21 Jump Street" (Last week: Not ranked)
Everything they show us just gets funnier and funnier. It's like having a hilarious roommate, without the late rent.
13. "Bully" (Last week: Not ranked)
Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp are standing up against the MPAA for the documentary, and they'll beat them up if they have to.
14. "Sin City 2" (Last week: Not ranked)
Director Robert Rodriguez is ready to start shooting this year, along with "Machete Kills." Which new/old stars will he get?
15. "John Carter" (Last Week: No. 1)
The naysayers appear to have been right all along. Disney's costly sci-fi epic will be remembered for years to come...but for all the wrong reasons.
What do you think of this week's rankings? Share your thoughts below.
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