Harry Potter, Transformers, and other film franchise releases through 2012

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The Independent Culture

With a sequel to How to Train Your Dragon in the works for 2013, the animated epic 3D adventure will become the latest among dozens of multi-film franchises currently in the works. Installments from major franchises including Harry Potter, Saw, Transformers, The Twilight Saga, and Men in Black are all scheduled for release from now through 2012.

Six sequels are scheduled for release before the end of 2010:

. Saw 3D, the seventh and last in this horror franchise, released for Halloween
. Paranormal Activity 2, the follow-up to last year's surprise hit
. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the next-to-last installment
. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment
. TRON: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult classic starring Jeff Bridges
. Little Fockers, part of the comedy franchise starring Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro

Films returning to the screen in 2011 include:

. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz
. The Hangover 2, 2009's comedy hit with Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis
. The Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom featuring the voice of Jack Black

. X-Men: First Class, a prequel starring Michael Fassbinder and Kevin Bacon
. Fast Five, from the Fast & Furious franchise starring Vin Diesel
. Cars 2, another animated summer hit

. Transformers 3, returning with Shia LaBeouf
. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the finale to be converted to 3D

. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, the first part of the fourth and final vampire romance
. Happy Feet 2 in 3D, return of the animated family film

Next December's big holiday releases include:
. Mission Impossible: IV with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner
. Sherlock Holmes 2 starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law
. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, the latest in the animated series
. Valentine's Day's sequel, called New Year's Eve

In the works for 2012:

. Men in Black III starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones
. Batman 3, the sequel to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight
. Star Trek 2, J.J. Abrams' second film in the rebooted series
. Despicable Me, a sequel to this years new animated hit
. Bourne 4, to be produced without Matt Damon
. James Bond 23, delayed due to studio financial woes
. Clash of the Titans 2 in real 3D, with Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton
. DaVinci Code 3, about symbologist Robert Langdon

With the end of franchises such as Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga, Toy Story and Shrek in sight, reboots and prequels are also happening. Upcoming prequels include the new "Spider-Man 4" story and "Alien 5" as well a promised follow-up to James Cameron's all-time blockbuster Avatar.