If you're a member of the general populace, chances are you spent a decent portion of your summer at the movie theater. While we haven't seen a summer film break the $1 billion mark thus far (as was achieved by the latest installments of "Transformers," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Harry Potter" in 2011), I don't doubt the potential of any of the following films to do so. Between Marvel and DC Studios, summer 2012 proved to be the summer of superheroes. Both of Marvel's most recent films earned spots on this blockbuster list, alongside the more-than-satisfying conclusion of what is arguably DC's most successful and beloved franchise. With another home run for Pixar and a fun-filled sequel from DreamWorks thrown into the mix, we're left with a series of A-list films that delight ages 1-100.

The following is a list of the top five highest-grossing films so far for the summer of 2012, according to

1. Marvel's ?"The Avengers" ?(Marvel Studios)

In addition to the top spot on this list, "The Avengers" managed to break the all-time opening weekend record previously held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," grossing $200.3 million in three days. "The Avengers" is the amalgamation of Marvel's cinematic escapades since the release of "Iron Man" in 2008. It weaves the polar stories of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye together in a movie both action-packed and comically entertaining. Where it lacks in certain elements of realism, it makes up for in laughs and adherence to the original written characters. Sequels to "Iron Man," "Thor" and "Captain America" are already in the works, along with serious discussion of a second "Avengers," "ANT MAN" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" films.

2. "The Dark Knight Rises" ?(DC Comics)

After Heath Ledger's personification of the Chaos Theory, fans of Batman were eager for the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" franchise. It was hard to narrow down the list of the most successful elements of the film; between the expertly choreographed fights, the abundance of familiar, reliable actors, and one of my favorite Hans Zimmer scores to date, it was clear that the Batman series was going to go out with a bang. Above all, "The Dark Knight Rises" is a high-octane thrill ride that is not to be missed.

3. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Marvel Studios)

This remake of a franchise only a decade old left viewers scratching their heads. However, once the nostalgia for Tobey Maguire's Spidey wore off, audiences realized that a new age production quality could compensate for a new face for the hero. Not that there's much compensating to do, really; Andrew Garfield is capable enough. Could this be Spider-Man's invitation to join the Avengers? Stay tuned, Marvel fans.

4. "Brave" ?(Disney/Pixar)

With the film release of "The Hunger Games" in March, the world was introduced to a new realm of female protagonists. However, unlike "The Hunger Games," Disney's latest hit, "Brave," features TWO female protagonists: Merida, the rebellious princess of Scotland, and her mother, Queen Elinor. The plot is completely unexpected, as the trailers did a fantastic job of not ruining the movie (unlike many films in this day and age). The unconventional direction Disney took in developing Merida's fairy tale ending is a breath of fresh air, not to mention enough to produce a domestic gross that surpassed that of "Wall-E."

5. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (DreamWorks)

The world may never know when the Madagascar series will end. However, if the films continue on the route they've been on for their first three stories, they shouldn't have a problem holding the attention of audiences. The latest adventures of the Central Park Zoo crew land them on the run from Europe's most efficient animal control agent, and in the company of a traveling circus. The film provides us with the characters we know and love, and makes sure to elicit laughs all around.

Danielle Grimm is a senior at Clarence High School.