2011 was not exactly a stellar year in film. This was especially true when it came to the box office take in, which was the lowest it had been in 16 years. The studios have to be hoping that 2012 will revive the public’s interest in going out to the cinema.  Here is my list of the ten films that might just help the studio’s achieve a comeback and also are the films I am most looking forward to (in no particular order):

the dark knight rises1) The Dark Knight Rises: Release Date: July 20. It is the third and final film in director Christopher Nolan’s trilogy starring the comic book superhero Batman. We have had a 72 year love affair with the caped crusader. It doing well at the box office is a sure thing and it will have to do well to recoup the reputed $250 million it cost to make. The film takes up eight years after the last one left off. Bruce Wayne is still recovering physically and psychologically from the trauma of his battle with the Joker. Nolan’s goal is to make a film with a political undertone that is also big entertainment.

2) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Release Date: December 14. Producer Peter Jackson hired director Guillermo Del Toro to make this film but he dropped out and so Jackson himself stepped in as the replacement.  This is the first of a two-part adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel. Set decades before the Lord of the Rings story. Gandalf the wizard and a group of dwarves enlist the reluctant hobbit Bilbo Baggins for an adventure to recover a dragon’s treasure.

3) Men in Black 3: Release Date: May 25. A decade has gone by since the last Men in Black film. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will put on the black suits and Ray-Bans once again. This film features time jumps and an alien that puts Agent K’s life in jeopardy. It is up to Agent J to travel back in time to 1969 in order to try and save him.

4) Snow White and the Huntsman: Release Date: June 1. Kristen Stewart is the fairest of them all, Chris Hemsworth is the Huntsman and Charlize Theron is the Queen. This version of the fairy tale is directed by Rupert Sanders, a man known for his videogame commercials. The film is dark and sinister with plenty of action. It is one of the two adaptations of the Grimm folktale. More of an epic film than a family oriented fairy tale.

5) Skyfall: Release Date: November 7. The plot to this film is kept so well guarded it is like a national secret. In a vague kind of way we know it about Agent 007 losing his faith in his boss M. It is said to be the most challenging mission ever for James Bond.  This is the 23rd film for the 50-year-old franchise. We do know that Javier Bardem will play the bad guy and Sam Mendes will direct.

6) The Amazing Spider-Man: Release Date: July 3. A mere five years ago Tobey Maguire was Peter Parker/Spider-Man and now Sony has decided to go in another direction. A total reboot of the Spidey story. It is being shot in 3D and stars the Social Network actor Andrew Garfield.  Emma Stone is his love interest and Rhys Ifans is the bad guy, The Lizard. Marc Webb, (500) Days of Summer, is an interesting choice as director.

7) The Hunger Games: Release Date: March 23. Based on the Suzanne Collins best-selling novel, The Hunger Games, this will be the first film installment of the series. Gary Ross is directing and it stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as the teen participants in a televised fight-to-the-death tournament.

8) Prometheus: Release Date: June 8. Ridley Scott turned the sci-fi genre on its head about thirty years ago with his films Alien and Blade Runner. Now he is back with a 3D film that is said to be a prequel to Alien. It is about a group of scientists who find themselves stranded on a distant planet. This particular planet is thought to be able to answer some big questions for humans like, “Who created us?”

9) The Avengers: Release Date: May 4. The Avengers features some of the biggest Marvel comic book heroes like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Under spymaster Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) these superheroes get together to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an attacker from outer space.  Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is back and looking for revenge.

10) Dark Shadows: Release Date: May 11. The gothic soap opera Dark Shadows ran from 1966 until 1971. In its film version it is about a vampire who is hundreds of years old having to deal with the modern world. Tim Burton’s version is set in 1972.  Johnny Depp is the vampire Barnabas. Barnabas has been dug up from his 200 year old grave and is reunited with his descendents. Also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Chloe Grace Moreta. The very wealthy family seems to be like and have the same problems as most families only they have a vampire living with them.