John Cusack in 2012Superstition is piled upon superstition as Roland Emmerich's apocalypse thriller '2012' begins playing on more than 3,000 screens on Friday the 13th. Don't cross paths with a black cat on your way to the theater.

'2012' is a monster-budgeted special effects spectacular exploiting the myth of the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy, some ancient hoohoo that pegs the end of the world as occurring Dec. 21 two years hence. Enough people believe this riff that real-world scientists are actually bothering to debunk it.