For the six or seven people out there who aren’t yet fully aware of the “Hunger Games” juggernaut, just wait a day or two. On the eve of its release, the film is already enjoying the sort of ubiquitous cultural dominance generally reserved for long-anticipated sequels/prequels (remember the unprecedented lines for “Episode 1”?) or established smash hits (who’s already got their “Titanic 3D” tickets?). Not since the initial “Twilight” movie has the first in a series of book-to-film adaptations drummed up this much pre-release hype, and in March no less. Over 2,000 shows are already sold out. Action figures are on the way. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are becoming household names before our very eyes. And — I almost forgot — the reviews are mostly glowing. In this day and age of pre-packaged blockbusters, that’s a very good thing indeed.
As for the rest of this week’s list…
March 22, 2012
1. “The Hunger Games” (Last week: No. 1)
Does the film’s assured popularity mean there will be a whole generation of kids with names like “Katniss,” “Peeta” and “Rue”?
2. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II” (Last week: Not ranked)
Bella, Edward and Jacob haven’t relinquished their Y.A. kingdom quite yet. The 15-second preview of the teaser (“preaser”?) reminds fans why they fell in love with vampires in the first place.
3. “The Avengers” (Last week: No. 2)
More new photos show off the Marvel heroes, but we can think of a few more we’d like to see on the big screen.
4. “Prometheus” (Last week: Not ranked)
5. “Snow White and the Huntsman” (Last week: No. 9)
Is it me, or is Charlize Theron getting hotter with age?
6. “The Amazing Spider-Man” (Last week: Not ranked)
7. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (Last week: Not ranked)
The latest trailer for the hist-horror-cal thriller delivers the goods.
8. “Dark Shadows” (Last week: No. 10)
The trailer revealed the remake’s comic-fantasy nature, and these new character posters help solidify the Tim Burton film’s tone.
9. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (Last week: Not ranked)
Like it or not, Michael Bay is giving the Turtles the “Transformers” treatment.
10. “Les Miserables” (Last week: Not ranked)
As Jean Valjean, hunky Hugh Jackman has never looked better.
11. “The Dark Knight Rises” (Last Week: No. 11)
Christopher Nolan assembled a four-hour (!) rough cut for WB execs, and rumor has it that the final Batman film will finally make it to Comic-Con. Stay tuned!
12. “Wrath of the Titans” (Last week: Not ranked)
Go behind-the-scenes with the Chimera…if you dare.
13. “Ender’s Game” (Last week: Not ranked)
We’re getting our first early looks at the long-awaited film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic book.
14. Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Psycho'” (Last week: Not ranked)
A stellar cast (Anthony Hopkins, ScarJo, Jessica Biel, et al) is coming together for this interesting sounding biopic.
15. “Huck and Tom” (Last week: not ranked)
A re-imagining of Mark Twain’s most famous creations from the “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” producers? Hell’s bells!
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.