So Forbes magazine has released a list of the Top 10 movies they think have the chances of being the biggest hits of the new year. Here's what they have so far: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March) Captain America: Civil War (May) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November) Finding Dory (June) The Jungle Book (April) X-Men: Apocalypse (May) Alice Through the Looking Glass (May) Independence Day: Resurgence (June) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December) Suicide Squad (August) Warcraft (June) Doctor Strange (November) Pete's Dragon (August) The article is at this link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhug...-films-that-will-rule-the-box-office-in-2016/ Notice anything interesting about this list of films? Every single one of them is either a sequel, or a remake, or some kind of spinoff from a pre-existing franchise. The lone exception would be Warcraft, and that's just a friggin' video game turned into a movie. I'm a blow-'em-up-real-good action fan as much as the next guy, but man... it's sad when there's this many comic book movies coming out in the same year. I'll go on record right now as predicting that Pete's Dragon ain't gonna make a dime. Even given state-of-the-art effects -- which they can definitely do better today than they could 35 years ago, when the original came out -- the story for this thing was just lame. And even with the Sherman Brothers, the songs weren't that memorable. I don't see this one clicking. Are we reaching the point where these comic book movies are out of control and all of them just become lots of noise and explosions at the expense of character, story, and nuance? My observation is that we're certainly getting closer and closer to falling off the cliff. I think the most interesting movie (and maybe the biggest gamble) of the bunch is Doctor Strange, which was a weird comic in the 1960s and 1970s, and will be even weirder today. But it boasts Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, and he could totally nail the character. I generally found the Strange book to have a very odd sort of atmosphere, almost not belonging in the typical Spiderman/Fantastic Four/Avengers universe, but maybe that's something they can use to their advantage. I'm very skeptical about Batman vs. Superman, but I also didn't like Man of Steel, which I think was a loud, unpleasant version of the DC character. The comic always had a light-hearted, fun kind of feel to it -- which I think was captured very well by the first Richard Donner film back in 1978 -- but the last few films have kinda left me cold. It'll be very tough if Warner Bros. can't find a way to get their own action franchise up, up and away. Fantastic Beasts is a spin-off from Harry Potter, and the one interesting thing I see in the trailer is that we're finally going to catch a glimpse of what American schools of wizardry looked like (albeit back in the 1930s). The only problem I see is that we have a considerably older protagonist than the kids of the Potter films, and that's gonna make it a tough sell. And it's also a book that isn't anything near the stratospheric status of the previous J.K. Rowling best-sellers. And Disney hasn't had an animated flop in a long time. I'm skeptical that Finding Dory can do huge numbers, but then, a lot of people didn't expect Finding Nemo would do a billion dollars back in 2003. All in all... it's gonna be an interesting year.