Who knew only 3 1/2 minutes could generate so much excitement?  The always secretive Christopher Nolan did, that's who.  The "Dark Knight" mastermind showed a clip from his new Leonardo DiCaprio thriller "Inception" at San Francisco's WonderCon this past weekend and people were still talking about it the following day.  

Not much is still known about Nolan's latest endeavor, except that it appears to deal with covert espionage within character's dreams.  Could it be "The Matrix Revolutions" without the leather jackets?  If you take that as a compliment to the Wachowskis , then yes.  Moreover, the visually impressive film is slowly positioning itself  for a potential awards season run later this year.  There's still a long way to go until the film debuts on July 16, but this weekend's reveal was more than enough to push "Inception" to the top spot in the power rankings.  As for the rest of the most 15 buzzed about films in Hollywood?  Read 'em and weep.

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

1. "Inception" (new)
Director Christopher Nolan shows up unannounced at WonderCon and wows the crowd with a 3 minute clip from his new dramatic thriller.  Can you say potential Best Picture contender?  Yep, it's only April and we went there.  Deal with it.

2. Will Smith (last week no. 4)
Boy, those "Independence Day" sequel rumors are getting stronger every day.  Who knew Big Willie would go old school for his next project? Or will he?

3. "Clash of the Titans"
(last week no. 6)
$61 million is nothing to scoff at.  And, the blogosphere's overreaction to the 3-D conversion was embarrassing.  It was nowhere near as weak as "Alice in Wonderland."

4. "The First Avenger: Captain America" (last week no. 3)
Chris Evans teases the WonderCon audience about his new role, tells HitFix he's not sure if he'll go blond or not and gets a sidekick in "Gossip Girl's" Sebastian Stan.

5. Netflix (new)
Steve Jobs and the iPad just saved Netflix from fading into history like Hollywood Video and the quickly evaporating Blockbuster.

6. "Why Did I Get Married Too
" (new)
Tyler Perry's sequel to the universally ignored (by the media at least) "Why Did I Get Married?" was just as overlooked this time around, but opened to almost $8 million more on its opening weekend than its predecessor.  And it's not even in 3-D!

7. "Kick-Ass"
(last week no. 8)
We'd like to say we weren't influenced by the fact that HitFix's own Drew McWeeny moderated a spectacularly successful panel for the film at WonderCon, but more importantly, there is a growing legion of press who never read the comic who adore the picture.  How big can it open?

8. "Tron Legacy" (new)
Encom makes an announcement in downtown San Francisco, a skydiver has a safe landing and the buzz plays better online than in person. Guess which matters most?

9. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (new)
Internet gold?  "Twilight." Internet silver? "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

10. "Twilight Saga" (last week no. 2)
Stephenie Meyer announces a new book (can you say eventual movie?) and new stills hit the net.  Any other franchise? Big week. "Twilight"?  That's how the vampires roll.

11. "How To Train Your Dragon" (last week no. 10)
Even with "Clash" coming into the marketplace, "Dragon" only dropped 33%.  That's a great sign of amazing word of mouth.  Plus, no family competition until, um, "Furry Vengeance" on April 30.

12. MGM (new)
Tick tok, tick tok, tick tok.  Anyone want to place bets on which studio produces and releases the next James Bond film?  It probably won't be MGM...

13. "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas" (new)
The health care battle must have really taken a toll on Kal Penn.  He's left his position at the White House to reunite with John Cho for a third installment of everyone's favorite 21st Century stoner duo.

14. Sandra Bullock (same as last week)
If Bullock's soon to be ex-husband has any more mistresses come out of the woodwork, the Best Actress Oscar winner may never leave her Hollywood Hills home.

15. "XXX 3" (new)
Paramount Pictures brings the "XXX" franchise with Vin Diesel and Rob "Even Joel Schumacher thinks I'm a hack" Cohen back to life after Sony Pictures passes.  We get that every studio needs reliable franchises, but you let the rights to "Tomb Raider" go for this?


Dropping like a rock...

*Miramax
MGM's financial troubles and underwhelming auction process are making bidding for this now available brand and library almost impossible.  Will Disney have to take it off the block?

*"Knight and Day"
We hear it might be pretty good, but Fox please spare us a SportsCenter sponsorship all the way through June.

*"The Runaways"
We don't mean to harp on the biopic as its got style and Stewart is pretty great in it, but is Apparition really still planning on going wide with this one?  Really?


Previous Rankings:
Tues. March 30, 2010

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For all the latest inside analysis and tidbits from the world of entertainment, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.