The Match-Up: Director Christopher Nolan’s grown-up adaptation of DC’s Darknight Detective closes out with a trilogy-ending juggernaut. Marvel’s Friendly Neighborhood Web-Slinger, on the other hand, launches a ground-up reboot with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield taking over for Tobey Maguire. The Dark Knight took in more than $1 billion worldwide. Spider-Man 3, on the other hand, left a bad taste in a lot of viewers’ mouths. Do people really want to see Spider-Man’s origin story again? Probably not. The Winner: Batman
The Match-Up: Both of these CGI cartoon series are getting a bit long in the tooth. Both pulled in just under $200 million domestically on their last releases. Both boast all-star voice talent. So far, this is looking like a tie. But DreamWorks has done a better job of keeping its Madagascar franchise fresh in viewers’ minds with a TV show (“The Penguins of Madagascar”), video games and more. By a nose, it’s ... The Winner: Madagascar
The Match-Up: Which bow-wielding hero will reign supreme? OK, this one’s a bit of an unfair fight, pitting a studly superspy against a little red-haired girl. The Avengers has already joined the billion dollar club, making it virtually unbeatable this summer. However, Avengers star Jeremy Renner will be stripped of his bow for The Bourne Legacy in August. Still, he looks pretty bad-ass there too. Brave, being a Pixar movie, will make plenty of money. But so will The Bourne Legacy. Jeremy’s looking strong (if a bit like a bully) in this fight. The Winner: Hawkeye.
The Match-Up: Two time-tested militaristic toys go head-to-head. Mattel’s G.I. Joe became an action figure in 1964. Milton Bradley’s Battleship became a board game in 1967. Joe’s got multiple toy lines, several successful TV cartoons and a previous film (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra). Granted, Rise of Cobra wasn’t all that good. But Battleship? What’s it got—other than a bunch of plastic pegs and a $35 million opening weekend? The trailer for Retaliation actually makes it look like fun. Plus, Bruce Willis climbs on board to play “Joe Colton”—that’s the official name of the original 12-inch G.I. Joe figure! The Winner: G.I. Joe
Plenty of actors have two films being released this summer (Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig). But good old Bruce Willis tops them all with roles in three feature films (Moonrise Kingdom, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Expendables 2). If you throw in the time-traveling hit man drama Looper (which hits theaters on Sept. 28), the guy logs four features. Throw in three other completed-but-not-released films (Lay the Favorite, The Cold Light of Day and Fire With Fire) and the man’s got seven films on the books for 2012. The people’s champion!