2012 Top Summer Blockbuster Movie Picks

Summer will be here soon, and with it will be another crop of big-budgeted movies all vying for your hard earned dollars.  Which will turn out to be blockbusters and which ones will be bellyfloppers?  Only time will tell, but after watching all of this year’s summer movie trailers, Captivation Media has made its list of  the films that we’ll be plunking down cash to watch in a movie theater.

As discussed in last year’s Summer Movie blog, the movie trailer is a marketing staple for all film distributors.  A trailer that gets lots of play on video sharing sites like YouTube can dramatically increase the chance of success for that movie.  There are a number of anticipated movies that have seen their trailers get millions of views and others that could be potential sleepers.

So, based on the movie trailer, here are out picks for this summer’s top movies:

The Avengers

Release Date:  May 4th

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. assemble a team of superheroes to help save the Earth from peril.  Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye form the core of the super group, based on characters created by Marvel Comics.  Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson add star power to the highly anticipated movie.  Plans for the film were first announced back in 2005 and anticipation grew, especially after the success of the Iron Man movie in 2008.

With over 20 million Youtube views, the movie trailer promises lots of action, special effects and larger-than-life situations.  Add well established characters to the mix and you have a promising recipe for a box office blockbuster.  Like a lot of the films on our list, the movie is in 3-D for the express purpose of making you pay more to see it.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Release Date: June 22nd

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States.  He makes it his mission to eliminate them.  Now that may sound really cool to some and just plain stupid to others.  This has the possibility to be either a hit or a bomb, depending on early word-of-mouth.  Produced by Tim Burton, the film is based on a novel by the same name… and of course, it’s in 3-D.

The trailer did look pretty awesome, so we hope it’ll be the type of flick that lives up to its high-concept premise.  If it does, don’t be surprised if we see George Washington, Zombie Killer next summer.

That’s My Boy

Release Date: June 15th

One of the few promising comedies this summer, That’s My Boy stars Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg.  Sandler plays Donny who fathered a son, Todd (Samberg) in middle school with his teacher.  He raises the boy on his own until Todd turns 18, then loses contact with him.  30 years later, Donny owes back taxes so he visits Todd, who has become a successful hedge fund manager, hoping to get $40,000 from his son.  Donny must first deal with the consequences of his poor parenting past.

The concept is solid and the trailer boasts a lot of funny moments.  Sandler and Samberg look like a pretty good comedy duo.  If this movie delivers more laughs than just what’s in the trailer, That’s My Boy could be a sleeper amongst the big budget summer movies.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Release Date: July 3rd

Based on the popular Marvel comic book superhero, The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot of the Spider-Man film series and the fourth Columbia Pictures movie featuring the web slinger.  The reboot went into development after the studio cancelled Spider-Man 4.  The last three Spider-Man films starred Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, the young man who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and turns into the costumed hero.  Now that lead role goes to Andrew Garfield.

While reaction to a new start of the franchise was originally lukewarm, the trailer has brought hope to many fans.  The tone of the movie looks darker and Spidey’s costume, the action and special effects look better than the previous attempts.  Plus, many fans never enjoyed Tobey Maguire portraying their beloved Spider-Man.

This film will be in 3-D as well.

Dark Shadows

Release Date: May 11th

Based on the ABC soap opera that aired from 1966 to 1971, Tim Burton directs and Johnny Depp stars in this big budget film adaptation.  After being imprisoned for two centuries, vampire Barnabas Collins is freed from his tomb and emerges into the world of 1972.  The trailer shows all the elements you’d expect from a Tim Burton movie; Johnny Depp (of course), Burton’s wife Helen Bonham Carter, rich set design, plenty of oddball characters and a score by Danny Elfman.

Tim Burton is one of today’s most interesting directors, although his track record with revamping franchses is spotty (Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland) so it remains to be seen if he can make Dark Shadows work as a spoof.  This is such a far departure from the TV series, it’ll be interesting to see if fans of the original Dark Shadows fans warm up to it or not.  That being said, the trailer looks hilarious and it’s piqued our desire to go see it on the big screen.

Men in Black III

Release Date: May 25th

Once again Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in action.  This time Agent J (Smith) travels in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K (Jones) and changing history.

Of course the movie will be in 3-D (groan) but the trailer was funny and promised some pretty cool special effects.  The movie has the potential to be a hit, but it also has a very real chance of being a disappointment.  It’s been widely reported that there were all kinds of production problems related to this movie, including script concerns – and that’s never a good thing.

The Dark Knight Rises

Release Date: July 20th

This film is the third installment in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman film series, and is intended to be the last (rest assured it will be rebooted again in a few years by another director).  Following the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman assumes responsibility for Dent’s crimes to protect Dent’s reputation and is subsequently hunted by the Gotham City Police Department.  Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman returns to Gotham, where he encounters the mysterious Selina Kyle (Catwoman) while stopping the villain Bane’s plans to destroy the city.

This movie was in jeopardy of being not being produced as Christopher Nolan didn’t want to make it unless he found a worthwhile storyline.  Eventually he did and decided that the film would be worth committing to.  Given Nolan’s track record, if he’s excited about the story then we’re excited too.

As with Nolan’s previous Batman movies, there’s a lot of anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises and it will probably rival The Avengers for the top superhero movie of 2012.   The trailer has millions of Youtube views and the buzz gets stronger as the release date draws nearer.

One note worth mentioning… The Dark Knight Rises will NOT be in 3-D (thank you Mr. Nolan!).


Release Date: June 8th

Directed by Ridley Scott, Prometheus was originally conceived as a prequel to Scott’s 1979 classic, Alien.  But as the script developed, it became more of its own idea than another Alien movie, although Scott says Prometheus shares “strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak”.  Judging by comments on message boards, this has confused a lot of potential moviegoers who see a very cool trailer, but wonder if the movie is another Alien movie or an Alien rip-off.  The answer is neither.  It’s an unofficial prequel to Alien… and while we’re not exactly sure what that means, we’re still excited to see it on the big screen.

The similarities to Alien may hurt or help Prometheus, only time will tell.  However, the trailer looks visually stunning and has obvious similarities to the original Alien – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Dictator

Release Date: May 11th

Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) stars in a “heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed”.  Cohen can be hit or miss at times, but the trailer has a lot of laughs and the film is generating considerable buzz.  The film opens the same day as Dark Shadows and just a week after The Avengers debuts – so it will be interesting to see if people will flock to see this movie or wait for DVD.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Release Date:  June 1st

This is a very different treatment of the classic tale of Snow White.  This time, Princess Snow White escapes her evil stepmother with the help of a huntsman who was supposed to kill her, but instead trains her to fight back.

The movie looks dark and suspenseful, and looks far different than the recent Snow White movie, Mirror, Mirror.  The special effects, cinematography and star power (Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart) make this a potential summer sleeper.

What are you looking forward to seeing the most?  Tell us your favorites in the comments section below!

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