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2012 movie preview: Can anyone beat a pair of queens?

Two different evil queens will set their sights Snow White 2012 movies: JuliRoberts “Mirror Mirror” coming March ...

Two different evil queens will set their sights on Snow White in 2012 movies: Julia Roberts in “Mirror Mirror,” coming in March ...

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Updated: February 2, 2012 8:11AM

Mirror, mirror in the box-office brawl: Who will be the fairest of them all?

Will the dueling Snow White films top the 2012 box office, or will it be a bunch of teenagers fighting to the death in “The Hunger Games?” Will “Titanic 3D” surface on top? Will it be the Dark Knight or Spidey who delivers the action fix this summer?

The new year isn’t just one of transformation at the movies, but also a time when you need a little assist from your friends. That’s why all those superheroes are getting together in “The Avengers.” For an ’80s flashback, check out “Expendables 2,” bringing Sly, Arnold, Bruce, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme together in one plot.

As if that’s not enough bonding, Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) team up in “Rise of the Guardians.”

Ready to plan your 2012 movie-watching schedule? Pencil these dates (which are, of course, subject to change) into your new calendar.

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” (Jan. 20): Stephen Daldry directs a story about Oskar Schell, a 9-year-old amateur inventor who searches the Big Apple for a lock that fits the mysterious key given to him by his father (Tom Hanks), who was killed on Sept. 11

“The Woman in Black” (Feb. 3): Now that Voldemort is toast, it’s time for Harry Potter to move on. In his first major post-wizard screen role, Daniel Radcliffe is a young lawyer who lands in a remote village in a creepy house where a mystery ghost dressed in black has a nasty habit of sneaking up on you.

“John Carter” (March 9): Pixar is back with the much-awaited story of a Civil War vet jettisoned to Mars, who finds the planet is dying and there’s a race war going on. The film stars Willem Dafoe, Dominic West and Polly Walker.

“Mirror Mirror” (March 16): Julia Roberts is suddenly not the fairest of them all, but instead the evil queen who tries to get the lovely Snow (Lily Collins) to sink her teeth into an apple. Armie Hammer brings the charm as the prince.

“The Hunger Games” (March 23): Working off the best-selling books by Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross directs the story of teenagers sent to compete in the games where you don’t just get detention, you fight to the death. Get ready to hear a lot about the potential mega-franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.

“Titanic 3D” (April 6): James Cameron’s box office receipts go on, and on, and on. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, looking dewy young, are in a big boat that sinks in three dimensions. Winslet jokes that offspring of those who saw it for the first time in 1997 now will be getting their first splash.

“The Three Stooges” (April 13): Hey Moe, and all you other guys waiting for this one for a long time: Comedy legends Bobby and Peter Farrelly direct the story of three newborns who start out at an orphanage and become put-upon Stooges. The nyuk-nyuks come from Will Sasso, Sean Hayes and Chris Diamantopoulos, and look for Jane Lynch and Larry David as Stooge foes.

“The Avengers” (May 4): That resourceful S.H.I.E.L.D agency needs a team of superheroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and others to help save the world. Scarlett Johansson is bad girl Black Widow.

“Dark Shadows” (May 11): In the days before Edward and Bella, there was another sexy vampire named Barnabas Collins, brought back to life by Johnny Depp for director Tim Burton. The film also creeps along with the help of Jackie Earle Haley, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz.

“The Dictator” (May 11): Sacha Baron Cohen is the head honcho in charge of a country that craves democracy, except the fearless leader won’t hear of it. It also stars Anna Faris and Megan Fox plus Chicago’ John C. Reilly.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (May 11): Playing parents ready to pop are Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro.

“Men in Black III” (May 25): The dark suits and Ray-Bans are out of mothballs as Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) reunite to go back to the 1960s, where an alien wants to off Agent K and topple the entire MIB agency.

“Rock of Ages” (June 1): Sex, drugs and lots of rock ’n’ roll, 1987 style. Tom Cruise, shirtless and muscular, stars as Stacee Jaxx in the film version of the musical about a Sunset Strip rock club where two young lovers (Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta) try to keep the beat and each other. The film also stars Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Bryan Cranston and Will Forte.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” (June 1): Kristen Stewart takes on the role of Snow, now with Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen in the re-re-telling of the fairy tale where a huntsman is told to take Snow into the woods and whack her. He lets her go, but then they have to find an escape route. The film also stars Chris Hemsworth, Eddie Izzard and Ian McShane.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (June 22): Tim Burton’s company is behind this fantasy about Honest Abe, who decides to kill vampires and their slave owners when his mother is slain by a supernatural creature. The film stars Dominic Cooper and Benjamin Walker.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (July 3): It’s a remake of the remake starring Andrew Garfield as the guy in the red suit and Emma Stone as his ladylove. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are the parents who ignore all that web spinning in his bedroom.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (July 13): Manny, Diego and Sid are bummed when their continent is suddenly drifting and they end up on an iceberg under pirate attack. Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo are back for the adventure.

“The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20): It’s eight years after the Joker wreaked his havoc, and Batman (Christian Bale) is in a bind because he has taken a fall for Harvey Dent’s actions. Making his life far more complex is a baddie named Bane (Tom Hardy) with terrorism on his mind, and Anne Hathaway slinks around as Catwoman. Director Chris Nolan says this is the epic conclusion of this version of the franchise.

“The Bourne Legacy” (Aug 3): Not Bourne again, Matt Damon hands over the CIA chase story to Jeremy Renner as character Aaron Cross in the next story based on the Robert Ludlum novels. Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Joan Allen also star for director Tony Gilroy.

“Total Recall” (Aug. 3): Colin Farrell and Bryan Cranston plus Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel star in a remake of the 1990 film revolving around nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai who are in a fight for superpower. Farrell is a factory worker who begins to think he’s a spy.

“The Expendables 2” (Aug. 17): Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger try to avenge the murder of their friend Tool and have to rescue his daughter, who also is plotting revenge and is kidnapped by a ruthless dictator.

“Gangster Squad” (Oct. 19): Sean Penn stars as Mickey Cohen and Ryan Gosling is Sgt. Jerry Wooters in a story of the LAPD fighting to keep the mob out of the city limits in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Skyfall” (Nov. 9): James Bond (Daniel Craig) gets a little shaken this time. His loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested when he digs into her past while dealing with an attack on MI6. Sam Mendes directs and Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes are around to give Bond the chase.

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” (Nov. 16): It’s finally over, and fans can sink their teeth into epic battle between the Cullens, who must protect Bella and Edward’s offspring Renesmee and the rest of the clan from the evil Volturi led by Dakota Fanning. It’s the last time to see Taylor Lautner shirtless … at least as a werewolf.

“Les Miserables” (Dec. 7): Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in the screen version of the musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel about a paroled prisoner named Jean Valjean (Jackman) looking for redemption in 19th-century France. Hathaway is Fantine.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Dec. 14): What a way for “Rings” fans to ring in a New Year. Peter Jackson directs the long-awaited “Lord of the Rings” offshoot about Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) making the trek to Lonely Mountain with his dwarves to find a treasure. Cate Blanchett is back as Galadriel, while Elijah Wood resumes his role as Frodo. Oh, there’s also someone with a scratchy voice talking about all things “precious.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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