College basketball has March Madness. But around here, the summer movie slate makes up our blockbuster season. Why can’t there be a bracket that exists for movie buffs: A head-to-head tournament that helps us determine which film we think will emerge triumphant at the end of Summer 2012?
Welcome to Movies.com’s March Movie Madness, a bracket-busting exercise in fan interactivity that we think can get some intelligent discussion swirling around 32 movies entering the summer movie season. It’s also helping us pass the time until Joss Whedon’s The Avengers officially kicks the season off on May 4.
We ranked 32 anticipated titles into four Regions, then further ranked those titles into seeds numbering 1 through 8. Each day, a new Region will compete. Victors will advance until a champion is crowned on April 20. It’s like a Hunger Games for movies, and all we need is your help.
Cast a vote in today’s four matchups. Go back and vote in Region 1’s competition. Consider all factors – Quality, Critical Response, Box Office – before picking a movie. And check back often to see how your favorite movie did. Let the games begin!
Region 2 - Round One
(1) Prometheus vs. (8) Ice Age: Continental Drift
Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise opens a portal to the past, where family members get to watch wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers dodge creeping glaciers and stampeding dinosaurs. And audiences should continue to support the series, which has earned a collective $568M domestically since 2002. But with Prometheus, Sir Ridley Scott wants to go back even further than that. He’s taking audiences to the deepest reaches of space to explore humanity’s birth, and early trailers so impressed us that we ranked Scott’s Alien prequel as a No. 1 seed. Will that matter? Can it advance? That’s up to you.
(2) G.I. Joe: Retaliation vs. (7) The Expendables 2
One of the most intriguing matchups of the March Movie Madness’s first round, as two military muscle thrillers battle for the right to compete in the next round. You could argue that Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables franchise wouldn’t exist without G.I. Joe. But then again, this summer’s G.I. Joe sequel might not have received a greenlight if movies like The Expendables tanked at the box office. No matter how you vote in this matchup, Bruce Willis wins (he’s in both films), but let us know which sequel you think will play better this summer.
(3) The Dictator vs. (6) Rock of Ages
The comedy goes up against the musical, and this one might come down to your personal tastes. In The Dictator, Borat and Bruno star Sacha Baron Cohen introduces his latest insane creation – General Aladeen, a less-than-benevolent despot who goes to great lengths to keep democracy out of his tiny country. But Rock of Ages marks Hairspray director Adam Shankman’s triumphant return to the flashy world of Broadway-musical adaptations, and he’s bringing an A-list cast (Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones) along for the ride. Can Rock roll its way to the next round, or does The Dictator execute the competition and advance to the quarterfinals? Cast your vote.
(4) Magic Mike vs. (5) The Wettest County
A battle of noted indie filmmakers rounds out Region 2. In one corner, Steven Soderbergh explores the world of male strippers with Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Haywire star Channing Tatum in tow. Gyrating talent not your thing? Then cast a vote for The Wettest County, John Hillcoat’s period drama that stars Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf as Depression-era bootleggers who run afoul of the law (Gary Oldman). Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska and the multi-faceted Jessica Chastain co-star. May the best star-studded indie win!