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 and Region 2’s competitions. 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 3 - Round One
(1) The Amazing Spider-Man vs. (8) That’s My Boy
Welcome back, Web head! You get the latest Adam Sandler comedy as your first competitor in our March Movie Madness game. Think it will be a swing through Central Park for Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Amazing director Marc Webb? Not so fast. Sandler’s comedies regularly make huge bank (Grown Ups, for example, earned $162M). And a recent trailer for That’s My Boy suggests that Sandler and co-star Andy Samberg might have tapped into the bawdy laughs that helped make Bridesmaids a huge hit. Big enough to squash the rebooted Spider-Man like a bug? We shall see.
(2) Brave vs. (7) Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
An animated battle, for sure, as Pixar’s rebound flick faces off against the first Madagascar sequel since 2008. DreamWorks’ franchise has been a solid box office champ, with fans of Ben Stiller and Chris Rock packing theaters (with kids in tow) to take in the latest misadventures of Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra. And those same parents might still feel the burn of a substandard Cars 2, which slightly sullied the “perfect” Pixar brand. Granted, Brave looks much better than Cars 2 so far, but this cartoon competition could go either way at this early stage.
(3) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter vs. (6) To Rome with Love
On paper, a mismatch. The catering bill on Timur Bekmambetov’s historical thriller – which reimagines “Honest” Abe as a creature killer – probably tops Woody Allen’s entire To Rome with Love budget. But just when you’re ready to count out the masterful director, he goes and wins an Oscar (for Midnight in Paris, the highest-grossing film of his lengthy career). Audiences no doubt will be interested to see what Allen can do as a follow up, but will that art-house intrigue be enough to drive a stake through the high-concept alternate history lesson?
(4) Neighborhood Watch vs. (5) Total Recall
Sci-fi efforts battle in the fourth and final matchup of Region 3. Neighborhood Watch finds Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill as suburban husbands and fathers forming a security pack in order to escape their families. But things escalate out of control when they’re forced to face an alien threat. Meanwhile, Len Wiseman’s Total Recall remake sends Colin Farrell on a journey once taken by Arnold Schwarzenegger. A modern audience might not even remember Quaid’s mission to Mars, but they’d likely buy into a big-budget effects effort that also stars Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.