'Hunger Games' races to front, while dark horses 'John Carter' and 'Dark Shadows' also show promise in 2012 tourney.
By Eric Ditzian
It's the brawl to win it all!
On Tuesday, we launched MTV Movie Brawl 2012, a winner-take-all tournament to pick this year's must-see movie. Starting with 32 films in an epic "play-in" round to pick 16 flicks that will make it into our March Madness-style bracket, the Brawl has kicked off with fans giving it 110 percent, determined to leave it all out on the field, and ready to step up and make plays.
This is what the playoffs are all about. As MTV News' team of analysts pointed out at the start of the tourney, there are three front-runners at this early point in the competition: "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," "The Hunger Games" and "The Dark Knight Rises." So far, two of those flicks are living up to expectations, while one is going to have a lot of questions to answer if it can't turn things around.
"Breaking Dawn" has staked out an early lead and has got to be an odds-on favorite to secure a #1 seed when the 16-team bracket is chosen at the end of this first round. Hunger Games has got its game face on and is trailing close behind; a number-one seed for this rookie sensation seems like a lock. "Dark Knight Rises," however, is not showing the determination and drive we'd expect from a film with such ravenous fans. Christopher Nolan's third Batman movie has settled into the #6 slot thus far and will have to pick up the slack if it expects to head into the bracket with any sort of momentum.
Films that have been flexing some unexpected Movie Brawl muscle include "John Carter" and "Dark Shadows." The former hits theaters in March, the latter in May; what they both have in common are fans coming out of the woodwork to support their underdogs and turn them into dark horses. Meanwhile, no one who's been paying attention to the cinematic landscape should be surprised that "Snow White and the Huntsman" has been playing like a savvy vet, given that the film is led by Kristen Stewart. Veteran leadership, especially from "Twilight" stars, is going to prove a key factor as the Brawl moves forward.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few films that are going to have to look themselves in the mirror and ask if they truly want to be in this competition. "Skyfall" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," for instance, are both floundering in the back of the pack. Unless fans step up and vote for Bond and Spidey, these films are looking at an early trip home and months of second-guessing. And while we don't expect high-brow fare like Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" to be able to tussle with the big franchises, we were hoping for more from QT fans than a first-round exit.
So that's where we stand on the second day of the competition. Anything can happen at this point. Seriously. That's why we've just introduced a wild-card round in which fans will be able to add a few movies that didn't make the original 32 — Robert Pattinson's "Cosmopolis"? Emma Watson's "Perks of Being a Wallflower"? — and, if they deliver enough votes, slip them into the 16-movie bracket.
Voting in the first round closes Sunday, January 8, and the bracket kicks off on Monday, January 9.
What are you waiting for? Your must-see movie needs your support. It's time to show character, poise and heart. Vote for your picks now at MTV Movie Brawl 2012!
- Get Ready For MTV Movie Brawl 2012!
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