Who needs swimming pools and water parks when you can cool off in a movie theater with the latest summer blockbuster film? Grab a bucket of popcorn, then settle in for 20 questions about the biggest summer blockbusters to ever grace the screen.
The summer blockbuster movie phenomena comes from the movie studios’ marketing plan to release big-budget action-packed movies on July 4th and rake in cash all summer long. Not all movies are released on July 4th, but any top-grossing film released in the summer months is typically referred to as a summer blockbuster.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" premiered June 12, 1981, and brought in $8,305,823 during the opening weekend. Indiana Jones did recover The Ark of the Covenant and went on to be the star of three more films in the series.
According to the president of the box office division of Hollywood.com, summertime movies make a big impact on return and bring in about 40 percent of all movies’ gross income.
Steven Spielberg’s "Jaws" opened on June 20, 1975, and brought in more than $7 million at the box office. This man-eating shark movie whet the movie studios’ appetite for more big-budget summer smashes in the future.
"The Omen" brought Damien to the screen on June 25, 1976, and scared the bejesus out of summer moviegoers. "The Shining" didn’t come out until 1980, and "The Exorcist" was a holiday hit, premiering December 26, 1973. Happy Creepy Christmas!
The original "Star Wars: A New Hope" movie premiered in 1977 and grossed $1,554,475 its opening weekend. George Lucas continued to produce summer blockbusters with "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980 and "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. The Force was definitely with him.
Danny was the head of the T-Birds, and he dated super sweet Sandra Dee of the Pink Ladies. This '50s-themed flick was completely campy and cheered on an $8,941,717 million gross at the box office on opening weekend.
The Italian Stallion is back! The summer of ’79 was highlighted by the return of beloved Rocky Balboa in "Rocky II.” He took on Apollo Creed once again and walked away with the No. 1 box office ranking on opening weekend -- June 15, 1979.
"E.T" ushered in the era of Reese’s Pieces, through a brilliant product placement strategy. Now, kids across the world know how to lure aliens into being their BFFs.
Those quirky ghost-busting scientists took down the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and left NYC with a gooey mess to clean up.
With the help of Doc Brown and his time-traveling DeLorean, Marty goes back to 1955, where he messes up and then fixes his parents’ romance -- just in the nick of time.
Gere, Johnson and many other leading men of the decade were considered for the role, but DeNiro was offered the part and turned it down so Willis could step in. Yippie-Ki-Yay.
Tom’s character Maverick was indeed a daredevil, and his daring relationship with his sexy flight school instructor was often more dangerous than his high-flying hijinks. It was all worth the risk, because "Top Gun" brought in $176.8 million.
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is one of the first films that featured humans performing alongside animated characters, and it was the first time Walt Disney and Warner Brothers characters starred in the same movie. Another interesting note about the 1988 movie’s title -- it doesn’t have a question mark at the end because that is considered back luck in Hollywood.
Blockbusters are like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you’re going to get. But in the summer of 1994 we got "Forrest Gump," which made for unforgettable memories and gross ticket sales of more than $329 million. Run, Forrest, run.
Val Kilmer played Iceman in the 1986 summer hit "Top Gun" and then went on to make another summer smash in his role as Batman in "Batman Forever," which premiered June 16, 1995. Hands down, Val Kilmer is the man.
"Independence Day" was a hit in 1996 and "I, Robot" came out much later, in 2004. So that leaves us with "Men in Black" being the big winner of summer 1997. This movie was such a hit with fans that MIB sequels continue to dominate the box office during summer blockbuster season.
Nemo's fans got their first glimpse of him in "Monsters, Inc." -- he was a stuffed toy on a couch in Boo’s room.
A summer blockbuster star deserves top-notch treatment, so it was urgent that Tobey’s costume be reconfigured so he could use the bathroom. A small vent was added to the Spider-Man suit so he could get some relief without removing the entire outfit.
All of these films ranked high that summer, but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" took home the top spot, grossing $381 million. When it comes to summer blockbusters, it all ends at the bank.