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Enough Already! — Overplayed Movie Trends of 2012

By Michael Arbeiter, Hollywood.com Staff

Much like wolves, elephants, dolphins, meerkats, termites, and especially codependent pangolins, movie concepts travel in packs. Once a theme is successfully undertaken by a daring pioneer picture, slews of others will follow suit, resulting in sweeping trends that all but eviscerate any traces of the original appeal of the idea. When the subject matter at hand is broad enough, it can escape this wrath unscathed... but often, these popular plotlines will wear out their welcome rather hastily, shafting them to the bottom of the pitch box until the nostalgia factor revives interest a decade later.

Looking back at 2012, we'll notice a handful of overplayed trends. Crowded bandwagons fostering the loads of blockbusters and box office flops alike. And they take all forms: story premises, stylistic choices, and title patterns alike. Check out a few of the trends that we really hope 2013 puts to rest before they spoil altogether.

Major Trends

Apocalypse movies

The Divide, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Resident Evil: Retribution, Dredd, Cloud Atlas, The Hunger Games, and (spoilers) The Cabin in the Woods

Special agent movies

Skyfall, Taken 2, This Means War, Argo, Haywire, Safe House, The Bourne Legacy

Not to be confused with...

Gun-for-hire movies

Looper, Savages, One for the Money, Killing Them Softly, Killer Joe; not yet released: Jack Reacher, Django Unchained

Large Trends

Superhero/comic book movies

The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Dredd, John Carter

Alien movies

The Avengers, Battleship, Men in Black 3, The Watch, Prometheus, John Carter

Vampire movies

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Underworld: Awakening, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dark Shadows, Hotel Transylvania

3D Rereleases

Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Titanic, Finding Nemo; not yet released: Monsters, Inc.

Mensa-Mensa Trends

Found footage movies

Chronicle, Paranormal Activity 4, The Devil Inside, Project X

Boat movies

Life of Pi, Battleship, Pirates! Band of Misfits, (and if you want to count it) Titanic 3D

Almost Trends

Time travel movies

Looper, Safety Not Guaranteed, Men in Black 3

Going-back-to-high-school movies

American Reunion, 21 Jump Street, 10 Years

Notice any that we missed? Let us know!

[Photo Credit: Anchor Bay; Columbia; Marvel Studios]

More:

Proceed With Caution: The Year in Movie Spoilers

2012: The Year in Apocalyptic Movies, TV, and Books

The Best Trailers of Trailers of 2012

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