Spring box office ruled by mythic battles and Marvel’s adventures

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Summertime may be a traditional time for big blockbusters, but now every week brings a Hollywood hit. Holidays offer extra days to see movies with family, so with Easter this weekend and the US Memorial Day at the end of May, the studios are rolling out a strong season of film fare.

The following rundown of the action-adventures feature gods, superheroes, and warriors. There's also a horror flick and romantic comedy in the mix -and 3D, of course:

Clash of the Titans
In 3D, mythological battles in the underworld pits Greek gods in a power struggle. Starring Sam Worthington of Avatar in another superhuman role as Perseus, son of Zeus, wrestling with monsters for control of the world. Also features Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, and special effects. Directed by Louis Leterrier ( The Incredible Hulk).
Release dates: April 2-23 worldwide


Big hit at SXSW Film Festival finds Dave Lizewski, a geeky comic fanboy, playing at being a not-so-superhero teenager. Based on the comic book series from Marvel, this comedy action misadventure stars Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy, Lyndsy Fonseca as Hit-Girl, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist, and Aaron Johnson in the title role.
Release dates: April 15-23 worldwide (UK March 26)

A Nightmare on Elm Street
This reboot of the successful horror franchise, from the original in 1984 through 2003, resurrects serial killer Freddy Krueger, who kills people in their dreams. Jackie Earle Haley ( Shutter Island, Watchmen) takes on the iconic role played by Robert Englund for eight films. Directed by Samuel Bayer, music video director for Green Day, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, and more.
Release dates: April 29-May 21 worldwide (Japan June 26)

Iron Man 2
This sequel to 2008's blockbuster stars Robert Downey Jr as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark and his armored alter ego Iron Man. The action-adventure finds the government demanding his power suit and his archenemies out to kill the superhero. Co-starring sidekick Don Cheadle, love interest Gwyneth Paltrow, rival Sam Rockwell, nemesis Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson, plus director Jon Favreau, and Marvel's Stan Lee. Iron Man forges new alliances - and confront powerful enemies.
Release dates: April 28-May 7 (Japan June 11)

Robin Hood
The tale of the legendary archer and outlaw of English folklore, this depiction of Robin Hood, finds him in fierce battles, not the leader of a band of "merry men." As with director Ridley Scott's Gladiator, which also starred Russell Crowe, there are historical references in this action adventure, more than mythic heroism. Co-stars include Cate Blanchett as a not-so-meek Maid Marion, William Hurt ( The Indcredible Hulk), and Max Von Sydow.
Premiere at Cannes Film Festival May 12, releases: May 14-19 worldwide

Shrek Forever After

This fourth and final installment of the animated hit is in 3D. The comic adventure finds the giant green ogre missing his old life. When Rumpelstiltskin thrusts him back to a time before he was tamed, there's a mean twist in the deal. Shrek must restore life as he knew it and reclaim Fiona. Stars Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, and Julie Andrews reprise roles from sequels.
Release dates: May 20-July 9 worldwide (Japan December 18)

Sex and the City 2
The sequel to the 2008 film adaptation of the hit television series stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, and more from the original cast. Romantic adventures with Carrie Bradshaw bring more fun and fashion in New York City and on location in Morocco with her girlfriends and her exes. Features cameos by Penelope Cruz, Miley Cyrus, Heidi Klum, Mariah Carey, and Liza Minnelli.
Release dates: May 27-June 4

Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time
A mythic tale based on a hit video game, the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brothers, Brokeback Mountain), of an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an evil ruler from unleashing a sandstorm to destroy the world. Co-stars Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island), Gemma Arterton ( Clash of the Titans), and Alfred Molina ( Spider-Man 2). Directed by Mike Newell ( Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco).
Release dates: May 19-July 29