‘Breaking Dawn,’ ‘Hunger Games’ Top Movie Brawl Sweet 16

Anything can happen as front-runners and dark horses duke it out for the top spot in our tourney.

What a ride it’s been so far in the MTV Movie Brawl 2012! After more than a quarter million votes, fans have whittled down the competition from an opening round of 32 films to a 16-flick bracket topped by #1 seeds “Hunger Games” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.”

Now that the pretenders and also-rans have been axed — See ya later “Expendables 2″! Thanks for playing “Rock of Ages”! — it’s time for the big guns to face off. Let’s get right to it.

Upper West Region
Otherwise known as the Robert Pattinson Honorary Region, this section of the bracket features three RPattz films. While we love seeing the 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” sneaking into the Sweet 16 after a wild-card win in round one, George Lucas’ baby doesn’t have much of a shot to knock “Breaking Dawn” from its perch atop the bracket. Twi-fans came out in force over the weekend to conquer “Hunger Games” and assure itself the highest vote total of round one. So Pattinson and his vampire pals have got to be feeling good as voting moves forward. Things are much more up in the air in the region’s other matchup: “Cosmopolis” vs. “Bel Ami.” Will Pattinson fans favor his cerebral, David Cronenberg-directed drama or his Uma Thurman-co-starring love story, which holds out the prospect of, as RPattz himself told us , “a lot of my crack in it.” This matchup is just too close to call at this point.

Lower West Region
This region is all about the superheroes, though neither “Dark Knight Rises,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” nor “Marvel’s The Avengers” performed heroically in the first round. The MTV Movies team had been eyeing “TDKR” as one of the films to beat headed into the tournament, but fans didn’t turn out to support Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film in the numbers we expected. “Avengers” managed to nab a six seed, but Captain America and his crew had better bring their A-games if they want to give “TDKR” a run for its money. By contrast, “Spider-Man,” which barely survived round one, is going to have to deliver nothing short of an inspired performance if it expects to knock off “Dark Shadows.” Tim Burton’s adaptation of the supernatural soap opera announced itself as a potential dark horse after an impressive and unexpected first-round showing. An Elite Eight showdown between “Dark Shadows” and “Dark Knight” would make for a kick-ass brawl.

Upper East Region
“Hunger Games” enters the Sweet 16 with a bit of wind taken out of its sails, following its failure to garner the most round-one votes after leading for most of the week. Its new matchup is a pivotal one, and a blowout of “Prometheus” would go a long way toward assuring fans that “Hunger Games” has its eye locked squarely on a final matchup with “Breaking Dawn.” But before we get there, “Hunger Games” will have to contend with two action flicks, in “John Carter” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” that have been surging in recent days. “G.I. Joe” didn’t even look like it was going to make the Sweet 16 until a last-minute rise. That sequel could potentially play the spoiler in this four-seed vs. five-seed matchup.

Lower East Region
Anything can happen in this region. Based on its pedigree, you might expect “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” to run roughshod over anything at this point in the tournament. But Peter Jackson’s flick faces off against Emma Watson’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a wild-card entrant that can easily spoil the hopes of everyone in Middle-earth. This matchup to just too close to call. And don’t count out another upset in the game between “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “The Woman in Black.” Though “SWATH” has a lot of heat behind it, based on a top-notch trailer and the leadership of Kristen Stewart, you underestimate Daniel Radcliffe’s fans at your own peril. But which star has the most feverish following? The answer to that question will likely reveal which film moves on to the Elite Eight in the MTV Movie Brawl 2012.

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!