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Commentary: Gems such as ‘Skyrim’ make 2011 tough act to follow

Courtesy of Valve

For all intents and purposes, 2011 was one of the biggest years in entertainment in recent memory. Superheroes and familiar franchise names dominated the box office, pop stars and big-time collaborations combined to top the music charts and the video game industry saw arguably its best year ever from a critical standpoint.

That said, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2012, even if we’re likely all going to die by the time Dec. 21 comes around.

Superheroes will again be a force on the big screen. Arguably one of the most anticipated films ever and the follow-up to the iconic “The Dark Knight,” “The Dark Knight Rises” is set for release July 20. While it might not eclipse its predecessor at the box office just because the villain, Bane, isn’t as much of a pop culture staple as Joker, it will still rake in the dough, and will likely end the year as one of the highest grossing films of 2012.

Another comic book franchise, “The Avengers,” is getting a lot of hype ahead of its May 4 release. Filmed in Cleveland and Cincinnati, “The Avengers” is made up of Marvel’s all-star heroes, including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America. For some perspective, the two most-downloaded trailers on apple.com in 2012 were “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Avengers.”

In a rare occurrence in 2011, the highest-selling album of the year was also quite possibly its best. Adele’s “21” sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and also garnered six Grammy nominations. She will head into the Grammys as the overwhelming favorite in most of the categories in which she’s been nominated, including Album of the Year.

It will be hard for 2012 to live up to that, but a lot of big names have albums set for release. Nicki Minaj, Adam Lambert, Willow Smith, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift  all have plans to release an album this year, and those names will certainly provide some power on the charts.

Perhaps the toughest hill to climb for 2012 is in video games. Many argue that 2011 was the greatest year in gaming history, with so many critically acclaimed games released. “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,” “Portal 2,” “Batman: Arkham City,” “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception,” as well as others, all made 2011 a landmark year.

This year has some big names coming, too. “Mass Effect 3,” “BioShock Infinite” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” are some of 2012’s most anticipated games.

Sure, it will be hard for 2012 to top 2011, but there’s still enough slated to enjoy next year to keep you distracted from our impending doom.


The Lantern editors decide what releases they’re looking forward to in 2012.

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