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Summer Geek-Out 2012

A rundown of the big sci-fi, superhero movies coming to a theater near you

By Don Kaye
Special to MSN Movies

Last summer was one of the strangest moviegoing seasons we've seen in a while. Movies picked to fail were tremendous successes both with critics and the public ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes"), while seemingly surefire hits were panned by both ("Green Lantern" and "Cowboys and Aliens"). Yes, the latest "Transformers" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" installments made plenty of dough, but Marvel gambles like "Thor" showed that there was still an audience out there eager for even B-level comic book adaptations.

Bing: More about 'The Avengers'

For 2012, the studios are rolling out some big guns, "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" among them, while also taking risks with more original material like "Prometheus" and the revisionist "Snow White and the Huntsman." Interestingly, a survey released last week by online ticketing company Fandango placed "The Avengers" ahead of "The Dark Knight Rises" -- by eight points -- as the top movie men want to see this summer. Is it because the marketing for "The Avengers" is all-encompassing at the moment, or are audiences craving the more colorful Marvel team over the brooding Caped Crusader?

Related: Who's who in 'The Avengers'

The top pick for women was "Snow White and the Huntsman," which could end up being the summer's sleeper. But what's in store for films like "Dark Shadows," "Men in Black 3," "Prometheus," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and this year's "Transformers" stand-in, "Battleship"? As a man once wrote, nobody knows anything -- but we'll find out soon enough.

(Disney/Columbia Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures)

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