In the MTV Movie Brawl, only the strong survive — and only 16 movies were strong enough to make it into the bracket phase of the tournament, launching Monday (January 14).
Expected heavy-weights like "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Iron Man 3" had little trouble pushing through to this next phase of the MTV Movie Brawl, but some of 2013's other hotly-awaited blockbusters — like "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "The Hangover Part III" — completely missed the cut. What remains are 16 fierce fighters that are sure to make the Movie Brawl a can't-miss event over the coming weeks of competition.
Read on for a preview of these first head-to-head match-ups!
(1) "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" vs. (8) "After Earth"
It's Team Katniss versus Team Smith as the "Hunger Games" franchise collides with director M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming post-apocalypse sci-fi flick. "Catching Fire" broke out early as one of the top two vote-getters in the 2013 Brawl — does the Will and Jaden Smith adventure even stand a chance?
(4) "The Host" vs. (5) "Beautiful Creatures" It's a battle of the YA adaptations! Both "The Host" and "Beautiful Creatures" have something to prove. In the case of the former, it's a test of loyalty for "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's audience. In the case of the latter, it's a test to see if "Twilight" fever is truly over. At this early stage, it's anybody's game.
(3) "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" vs. (6) "The Bling Ring" This match-up represents a "Perks of Being a Wallflower" reunion of sorts, as the Logan Lerman and Emma Watson-led movies go head-to-head. Will "Perks" bring its Olympian-level weight to bear upon the teen-driven heist movie? The answer might seem obvious on the surface, but don't ever count a "Harry Potter" star out of a fight.
(2) "Thor: The Dark World" vs. (7) "Man of Steel" Our first superhero showdown pits Marvel against DC Comics. It's the Thunder God versus the Last Son of Krypton, two extraterrestrial champions bringing their full might against one another. Superman very nearly missed the bracket-stage of the competition altogether, giving the edge to "Thor," for now.
(1) "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" vs. (8) "Carrie" The only movie that bested "Hunger Games" in round one, newcomer "Mortal Instruments" has a lot of firepower already on its side. But don't underestimate the power of "Carrie" and the horror remake's leading lady, Chloe Moretz. Though her other hotly-awaited 2013 flick, "Kick-Ass 2," just barely missed the bracket, Moretz remains one of the fiercest competitors in the brawl for it all.
(4) "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" vs. (5) "The Wolverine" It's usually wise to bet on an adamantium-laced mutant over an adventure-averse hobbit in a fight. In the case of the Movie Brawl, however, the outcome is less clear, as the worlds of Middle-earth and the X-Men both come with their own sets of passionate fans. Of all the current match-ups, we expect this one to be the closest.
(3) "One Direction Documentary" vs. (6) "Spring Breakers" It's the Directioners versus the Selenators! The upcoming "One Direction" documentary from Morgan Spurlock is up against the Selena Gomez-starring "Spring Breakers" in this hotly-awaited showdown. Both films come with their own sets of deeply devoted fans, leaving the outcome too unpredictable to call right now.
(2) "Iron Man 3" vs. (7) "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" Tony Stark will need more than his billionaire playboy philanthropist charm if he wants to take on the combined forces of the Joe and Cobra squads. Indeed, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is no stranger to the Movie Brawl, having appeared in the 2012 edition of the tournament. But the Joes are facing off against one of Earth's mightiest heroes here — and even if Stark doesn't have a Hulk this time, he at least has some record-breaking box-office receipts to bring to the battle.
Which Movie Brawl competitors are you rooting for? Tell us in the comments section below or let me know on Twitter @roundhoward!
Who will win the brawl for it all? Your must-see movie needs your support. It's time to show character, poise and heart. Vote for your picks in the MTV Movie Brawl 2013!