Though 2011 had its share of disappointments, it was certainly a banner year for blockbusters and had some of the biggest stars sweeping awards at every celebrity-studded event. This year, however, finds many of filmdom's iconic characters making their way to the big screen again. Not only will you get to see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man share megaplex space with Gotham City favorite Batman, but aliens, vampires and mystical beings too are set to hog the limelight this year.

With many promising films on the horizon, blogging communities usher out the usual Best of the Year lists everywhere. However, after a bit of research, here's a fairly accurate list of the 10 most-anticipated movies expected to hit massive records at the box office this year. So plan well in advance and mark the year's calendar for the release dates of these films.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

This brilliant crime saga sees Christian Bale returning after eight years as the caped crusader who saves Gotham City from its terrorizing villains. The Dark Knight Rises is director Christopher Nolan's conclusion to his Batman series and boasts an impressive cast which includes Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy.
(Release Date: July 20).

2. The Avengers

Yet another Marvel-comics flick that sees not just one superhero, but four who join forces in what is an epic battle against the bad guys. This never seen before team of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk have already heightened our expectations, making it one of the most-anticipated movies of 2012. (Release date: May 4)

3. Men in Black III

The third installment of the sci-fi action comedy will see Will Smith traveling back in time to save the planet and Agent K, played by Tommy Lee Jones. MIB III is directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, with a young agent K played by Josh Brolin.
 (Release Date: May 25)

4. The Hunger Games
Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is set in post-apocalyptic America, where Jennifer Lawrence plays, Katniss Everdeen, who must fight for her life in an annual televised event. 
(Release Date: March 23)

5. Snow White and the Huntsman

A fairytale with a twist that sees Kristen Stewart playing the lead as Snow White, who after a bloody battle defeats the evil queen played by Charlize Theron.  Rupert Sander's verison of this Disney classic is stylistically pleasing, making it one of the best fantasy movies to look forward to this year.
(Release Date: June 1)

6. UnderWorld: Awakening

Watch Kate Beckinsale make a welcome return to her lead role as Selene, who must battle an array of humans and a genetically-enhanced Lycan in this vampire-werewolf flick. 
(Release Date: Jan. 20)

7. Prometheus
Ridley Scott's next film in the sci-fi genre tells a tale about explorers heading into deep space in search of answers to the most profound questions we ask of ourselves. The highly anticipated Prometheus, is filmed in 3-D and stars Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron.
(Release Date: June 8)

8. The Amazing Spider-Man

Just when you thought the super-hero theme was over and done with, here comes the Amazing Spider-Man which features a skinny Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. Fans of this franchise will see Spidey swing in 3-D this time making it one of the most eagerly awaited films this year.
(Release Date: July 3)  

9. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Bella's picture perfect wedding with Edward and the gut-wrenching birth of a baby with supernatural powers has Twi-hard fans awaiting the final installment of this series.  Part-2 promises more drama as the Cullens strive to protect the young one from the evil Volturi.
(Release Date: Nov. 16)  

10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The big-budget flick has already reserved its share of box office hits given the amazing fan base this movie already has. Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, is swept into an epic quest where he faces all kinds of difficulties in order reclaim a treasure taken by the dragon Smaug.
(Release Date: Dec. 14)