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, Region 2 and Region 3’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 4 - Round One
(1) The Avengers vs. (8) Savages
Avengers assemble … and (likely) move on to the next round! Joss Whedon’s mighty Marvel adventure finally unites Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in a Herculean effort to save our planet from a mysterious threat. Hoping to upset Whedon’s highly-anticipated comic blockbuster will be Oliver Stone’s latest, which stars Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch as pot farmers who take on a Mexican drug lord who has kidnapped their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively). I’m not saying Stone’s film doesn’t sound intriguing, but I wonder which film The Avengers will face in Region 4’s second round?
(2) Dark Shadows vs. (7) What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Boy, the Region 4 matchups seem to be all over the place. This mismatch pits Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s latest collaboration – a reboot of a cult-classic television program from the 1970s – against an ensemble comedy about bringing up baby. Both films seem to have their built-in niche audiences, and each has the potential right now to become a massive hit. But it’s up to you to decide, based on quality and possible performance, which one deserves to advance and “fight” another day.
(3) Battleship vs. (6) Great Hope Springs
Summer eye candy faces an early Oscar hopeful as Battleship takes on Great Hope Springs. The former adapts the classic board game of our youth, but based on recent trailers and a lengthy Super Bowl TV spot, it simply looks like Transformers set at sea. Liam Neeson and Rihanna co-star in this Peter Berg blockbuster. But those seeking something slightly more substantial might gamble on Springs, which stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a long-time married couple attempting marriage counseling with a noted therapist (Steve Carell). Streep’s Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel helms the pic, so it could be as funny as Battleship promises to be exciting.
(4) ParaNorman vs. (5) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
More Carell. This time, in End of the World, the comedian plays a sad sack who learns that an asteroid’s about to hit our planet, sending him on a road trip to connect with his long-lost high school sweetheart. Keira Knightley, of all people, tags along for the ride. On the flip side is ParaNorman, Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s supernatural animated feature about a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can converse with the dead. Too gothic for kids? Or just offbeat enough to upset Carell and Knightley in their efforts? You decide.