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Filmism.net Dispatch January 2, 2013

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Welcome to another star studded year of the Filmism.net Dispatch and thanks for reading throughout 2012.

First of all, I want to make a prediction that Warner Bros will come out very much on top. Fox has The Wolverine but X-Men Origins: Wolverine was such a disappointment and after yanking the 3D re-release of Independence Day they don't really have any tentpole films to offer this year.

Paramount should do better with World War Z and Star Trek Into Darkness mid-year. Sony will do pretty good with After Earth because despite his reputation, M Night Shyamalan still sells (and Will Smith definitely does). Elysium has a high quality director and star (District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp and Matt Damon) and should be good enough to ride a decent wave.

Universal will make a lot of their dough early in the year with Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner Oblivion and the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park, and the next Fast and Furious sequel will give them their 2014 development money come June.

But a quick glance over Warners' slate tells you all you need to know about the box office race this year. They're already swimming in moolah from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (and will be for months yet). The Hangover 3 will be a license to print money in May, and The Great Gatsby will get enough moviegoers curious to do amazing business. They'll need a dump truck at the studio gates for the money that will pour in from Man Of Steel in June, and I think Pacific Rim will be 2013's first billion-dollar movie.

Then, just when all the execs come back from their Seychelles retreats and rehab and the money's running out, The Hunger Games sequel in November will open the spigot all over again, and it will barely have slowed before the second Hobbit film does it all over again.

It remains to be seen if they can wield creative rather than just financial success, but with names like Snyder (supported by Nolan), Del Toro, Jackson and Luhrmann behind the scenes, things look good.

And a quick shout out to Robert De Niro. In almost every movie he's been in that I've reviewed for the last decade, I've made reference to how far he's fallen since his heyday. Now there's chatter about an Oscar for his role in The Silver Linings Playbook, might a former master of the craft be on the way back? read more here.

2004 Indian Ocean tsunami film The Impossible has also arrived and unlike most critics, I found it a bit too emotionally manipulative despite its technical brilliance.

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