I saw the early reviews that just went up on Sasha Baron Cohen's The Dictator, and thought "whoo-boy"... There's some real iffy movies coming out or about to come out, and I'm curious if anybody wants to place some bets on how they're gonna do. Over a year ago, I expressed doubts about Battleship -- a movie inspired by a 50-year-old board game -- but damned if it didn't do very well overseas. It looks like it'll do well after all. Dark Shadows, though, looked fun and interesting in the trailers, but it's underperforming and sinking fast. So what's gonna be the "John Carter" of the summer? My gut tells me that Men in Black 3 may not live up to expectations. I don't think it's gonna be bad, but I tend to doubt it'll come anywhere near the first two movies in terms of box office. Even with the time-travel element, I think there may be too much "been there/done that." Pirahana 3DD... come on. The new Snow White movie has almost gotta do better than the previous Julia Roberts version, Mirror Mirror, which pretty much tanked. I'm still doubtful that Prometheus will come close to Alien-sized business, because it's a very dark, downbeat movie with an ending that, well... I'll say no more. Another movie that I think is very iffy is the Tom Cruise Rock of Ages pastiche. I think rock fans will be kind of offended that the original groups don't perform the songs, plus they won't like the "Broadway musical" angle, and then regular audiences won't want to see a raunchy rock & roll movie. I'm not sure who the audience is for this thing. (Me, I'll see it, but only out of affection for the Sunset Strip of the 1980s, which I remember very well.) I think the new Batman Dark Knight Rises will be huge, probably the second biggest movie of the year next to Avengers. And I think Spiderman will do well. There are a couple of really, really weird ones coming out this summer that I suspect will just go out with a thud: Ted, the weird Marky Mark fantasy done by Seth McFarland (35-year-old adult has an anthropomorphic teddy bear who's alive), and Magic Mike, Steven Soderberg's take on Channing Tatum as the leader of a team of male strippers. I'm befuddled as to why the latter had to be made. I think it could go on a double-bill with Cher's Burlesque, which was a legendary bad film. And there's also another weird fantasy, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, about a childless couple who basically grow an instant 10-year-old in a hole in their back yard... it's such a weird idea, I'd question it as anything but a 20-minute Twilight Zone segment. I think there's quite a few other movies that'll do OK: Madagascar, Ice Age, Total Recall, Expendables 2, Bourne Legacy, Wimpy Kid... lotsa sequels that won't exactly win Oscars, but will make money and please their intended audiences. Some other films, like Disney's Brave, don't do much for me -- I never understood the need to make an animated film about live-action characters, where you could just shoot it with people. (But that's me.) Any other votes for hits and misses? It's a weird year for films. As for the end of 2012, I'm looking forward to The Hobbit... but I'm nervous about the weird 48fps frame rate, and I also question as to why the shortest book has to get the longest movie (5 hours+, spread over two parts and $500 million).