The upcoming "John Carter" is hoping to be the year's first blockbuster, but much of the public's pre-release chatter has dwelled on the film's ballooning budget, the visual similarities to other films (even though it's based on a book that predates "Avatar" and the "Star Wars" prequels by nearly a century) and the clumsy marketing campaign (where did "of Mars" go in the title?). However, things may be starting to turn around at the 11th hour. The official site is offering a ten minute clip to entice viewers. The early reviews are generally positive, and leading man Taylor Kitsch could soon make the leap from TV start to movie hero, backed by a solid supporting cast, which includes Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe and Mark Strong. Could Disney have gotten it right after all? If successful, could a franchise really materialize out of "John Carter"? 

 

As for the rest of this week's list…  

March 8, 2012


1. "John Carter" (Last week: No. 9)

We'll find out this weekend if Disney's big gamble has paid off. 


2. "The Hunger Games" (Last week: No. 2)

Hey, author Suzanne Collins likes it. That's a good sign. 


3. "Venom" (Last week: Not ranked)
 
With "The Amazing Spider-Manopening soon, why not make a Venom movie? Why not indeed?

 
4. "Battleship" (Last week: Not ranked)

Opening weeks ahead of time internationally, the board game adaptation has an interesting release pattern that could benefit the film. Perhaps more importantly, Rihanna looks mighty fine in the new poster. 


5. "Men in Black III" (Last week: Not ranked)

Will a new trailer and new images renew interest in the troubled production?
 

6. "The Hobbit"

If the swoon-worthy Benedict Cumberbatch says it's going to be amazing, who are we to argue?

 
7. "Frankenweenie" (Last week: Not ranked)

Tim Burton's stop-motion feature update of his cult classic short film will be the first of its breed to be shown in IMAX.
 
 
8. "The Muppets 2" (Last week: Not ranked)
 
A sequel is happening, but without Jason Segel. Will audiences mind? Or will they stay loyal to the brand first and foremost?
 
 
9. "The Avengers" (Last week: No. 1)

The new trailer broke all sorts of iTunes records. Parts of Europe and Down Under get the first crack at it.
 
 
10. "RoboCop" (Last week: Not ranked)

The long-in-the-works remake finally lands a lead.
 

11. "Prometheus" (Last week: No. 6)

Ridely Scott's upcoming film is looking more and more like a proper "Alien" prequel.

 
12. "The Master" (Last week: Not ranked)

"There Will Be Blood" auteur Paul Thomas Anderson's next epic may be released in October. How about right now instead?
 
 
13. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Last week: No. 4)

Let's hope that director of photography Wally Pfister has learned a thing or two from Christopher Nolan -- he's making his directorial debut later this year.
 
 
14. "Bill and Ted 3" (Last week: Not ranked)

Here's some non-non-triumphant news, dudes -- Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are both happy with the new script from the original films' writers. Station!
 
 
15. "Dark Shadows" (Last week: Not ranked)

Burton and Depp are at it again, and we've got more pictures to prove it.



Movie Power Rankings appears weekly on HitFix. See the previous installment's rankings here


What do you think of this week's rankings? Share your thoughts below.