It could merely be a case of the studio being confident of the script, director, and star.
There's a very fine line between confidence and arrogance, I think. But considering how popular High Jackman's Wolverine used to be (it literally made his career), Fox really shouldn't have a problem selling it (with the right marketing, and some positive word of mouth once the film is out, provided that it really is as good as we hope it'll be).
But as you said, 2012 is potentially one of the BIGGEST blockbuster movie years of all time, and not everyone will come out a winner. Some of these movies are sure to under perform due the stiff competition, and my guess is it sure as hell won't be Batman, Bond, Twilight and especially not The Hobbit. Superman, on the other hand, could end up being a major disaster if they screw it up (but I'm cautiously optimistic about it).