The world may come to an end on November 13th for Columbia Pictures/Sony. Or make that November 14, aka “the day after tomorrow.”

Even as Sony braces itself for the Michael Jackson release, “This Is It,” another movie looms larger right after it. Roland Emerich’s “2012,” which cost a minimum of $200 million and was supposed to have been released last summer, is finally on its way.

“2012″ looks a lot like another Emmerich movie, “The Day After Tomorrow,” which featured Jake Gyllenhaal trudging through blizzards, tornadoes, and tidal waves. From the trailers, it sure seems like John Cusack is about to escape the collapse of ‘ gasp! ‘ the whole physical world as he drives through computer generated earthquakes, crumbling buildings, and general subsidence.

The theme song should be, “It’s the End of the World As We Know It ‘ And I Feel Fine.”

No doubt trailers for “2012″ will be tacked onto the beginning of “This Is It.” It will be interesting to see the reaction. Are audiences yearning for a 70s style disaster movie? Or is “2012″ a disaster of a movie? Even more important, do normal people really believe the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012? Or this just a Y2K kind of marketing ploy that will blow up (yes. I said it) in everyone’s faces?

Sony’s had a pretty good run this fall with “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Zombieland,” and the remake of “The Stepfather.” But those three were all relatively low budget ‘ as everything is ‘ compared to “2012.” Big Sony doesn’t look for Oscars; they’ve got Sony Pictures Classics for that, where “An Education,” “The Last Station,” “Lebanon,” and “Broken Embraces” could all be in the awards mix. Big Sony is where the money is, and so far, so good.

Maybe “2012″ will be the blockbuster that Emmerich’s “Independence Day” (one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies of all time) was. Maybe not. But having seen “The Road,” with Viggo Mortensen, I can tell you that John Hillcoat’s film is the more serious meditation on the end of the world. It resonates for days after viewing.’ “2012″ will be the dessert.

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