First-quarter box-office sales for 2012 were record-breaking thanks to films like The Hunger Games. Now blockbuster season has officially begun with The Avengers, which opened with $207.4 million, the biggest opening in film history.
So what can audiences look forward to next? The summer slate is packed with intriguing action films. Here are the five most anticipated films aiming for box-office gold.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Release Date: June 1
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What It's About: Based on the classic fairy tale, the visually striking film is the only summer action film to feature a female lead. A huntsman (Liam Hemsworth) is ordered to kill Snow White (Kristen Stewart) in the Dark Forest but instead trains her to become a warrior. With his help, she prepares to murder the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron.)
Why It'll be A Hit: Stewart's built-in Twilight fan base will no doubt bring in audiences. The film is comparable to the highly successful 300, which featured artfully choreographed sword fights. On top of that, it seems to have a romantic edge that will likely appeal to both men and women. It also has one of the best trailers of the year.
Release Date: May 18
What It's About: Inspired by the popular game, this science fiction war film centers on a fleet of ships that battle extraterrestrial forces.
Why It'll be A Hit: The story of an alien attack film set at sea has already piqued audience curiosity. It also features a hot young cast that includes Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker and Rihanna (making her screen debut). The film opened internationally last month and has so far earned $200 million overseas.
Release Date: June 8
What It's About: A prequel to the popular Alien franchise, the film focuses on a group of explorers who attempt to uncover the mysteries of Earth's past. Unfortunately for them, their quest is disrupted by an aggressive alien life force.
Why It'll be A Hit: Fans of the Alien films are already lining up. The film features such Hollywood A-listers as Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender.
The Amazing Spider Man
Release Date: July 3
What It's About: Though the last film adaptation of the comic book was fairly recent, Hollywood is capitalizing on the story's immense popularity yet again. Andrew Garfield now stars as Peter Parker, who is desperately searching for clues in the disappearance of his parents. To complicate matters, he is bitten by an exotic spider and discovers he has superpowers.
Why It'll be A Hit: Those who were too young to appreciate the 2002 Tobey Maguire film, will likely find the reboot appealing. Furthermore, the franchise is still extremely popular. On top of that, it gives audiences a chance to see real-life couple Garfield and Emma Stone on the big screen together.
The Dark Knight Rises
Release Date: July 20
What It's About: When a ruthless terrorist threatens to destroy New York City, Batman and the Dark Knight must emerge from the shadows and protect it.
Why It'll Be A Hit: The film is arguably the most anticipated film of 2012. Back in January, tickets for midnight screenings went on sale and were immediately sold out. Anticipation for the film increased when a 7-minute prologue debuted before Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It also boosts a top-flight cast with Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and Morgan Freeman.