2012 was expected to set records at the box office and launch a slew of new franchises. For the most part, those predictions came to pass. What was obviously unexpected was the worst shooting at a U.S. movie theater this century, the departure of two prominent studio heads and, arguably, the most important acquisition by a major media company in years.  With that in mind, let's look back at some of the biggest movie news stories in the embedded gallery below.

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With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.