After "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," it seemed almost impossible to generate substantial interest in a new "X-Men" movie without completely rebooting the cast.  But who wants to lose the continuity of Hugh Jackman as everyone's favorite fast-healing mutie?  Smartly, Fox, producer Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn have solved that problem by going the prequel route in "X-Men: First Class."

Focusing on the early days of Prof. Charles Xavier and Magneto, when the two were still buddies, the event flick arguably features a cast of actors more talented then the first "X-Men" film (and that's saying something when you take Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Halle Berry into account).  So far, "First Class" has recruited James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Nicolas Hault, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and Jennifer Lawrence.  The buzz factor jumped a notch this week when none other than "Mad Men's" January Jones joined the cast as Emma Frost (aka The White Queen).  Of course, we're still waiting to find out if a young Cyclops or Jean Grey will appear in Vaughn's "Kick-Ass" follow up, but we're hopeful.

As for the rest of this week's delayed power list...

August 19, 2010

 1. "X-Men: First Class" (not ranked)
Matthew Vaughn has moved the production to London.  The only locale that would be further away from the execs on the Fox lot is Australia. Coincidence?  We think not.

2. "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (not ranked)
Daniel Craig can handle the pressure of being in a global franchise, but Rooney Mara might need to have a drink with Kristen Stewart for some pointers.



3. "Hereafter" (not ranked)
He's baaaaaaaaacckkkkk.  Here comes Clint with yet another potential awards contender.  And those who worship at the altar are already salivating
 at the prospect.

4. "The Expendables" (last week no. 2)
A huge opening and Stallone is already plotting out the second installment.  Um, yay?


5. "Avatar" (last week no. 1)
We're sure that lots of people want to see "Avatar" back on the big screen and IMAX again with "exclusive new footage," but couldn't it have waited a year?

6. "Piranha 3-D" (not ranked)
The reviews will surprise you.  Like, really surprise you.  It may still make less money at the box office than "Vampires Suck" this weekend though.

7. "Spider-Man" (not ranked)

Andrew Garfield is taking lots of dates, but he's not looking for Mary Jane Watson.

8. "Black Swan" (not ranked)

Not only are the good movies coming this fall, so are the good trailers it seems.

9. "The Tourist" (not ranked)
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are crashing your local multiplex for the holidays.  The paparazzi may be even more thrilled than you are.

10. "Battle: Los Angeles" (not ranked)
Sony's legal threats against the Strauss Brothers for their competing LA invasion movie "Skyline" (after their effects house worked on "Battle") may be a better story than either flick.

11. "Star Wars" (not ranked)
Jar Jar Binks in the excruciating detail of Blu-ray.  If you're under 20 this probably excites you.  Everyone else may want to throw up just about now.

12. "Let Me In" (not ranked)
Toronto Film Festival debut and now Fantastic Fest's opening night movie.  Gee, do you think it's good?

13. "Judge Dredd" (not ranked)
Karl Urban is the new Dredd.  But will he have Stallone's wonderful toys?

14. "The Justin Bieber Movie" (same)
The Bieber thought he had the director of "An Inconvenient Truth" on board to helm his big screen debut. Instead, he's got the director of..."Step Up 3D."

15. "The Tempest" (last week no. 7)
Julie Taymor's latest gets a new poster although its not really up to her standards.

Dropping like a rock...

*"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"

After Edgar Wright's critically acclaimed flick bombs at the box office execs start coming out of the woodwork saying it was "too hipster, too edgy, too niche."  Whatever.

Movie Power Rankings usually appear every Tuesday on HitFix.  Share your thoughts on this week's list below.
 



Last week's rankings:

August 11, 2010