It's the time of the year when movie studios try to out-do each other with explosions, cheesy/quote-able lines, and Tom Cruise. To celebrate, I've compiled my list of the Top Ten Summer Blockbusters ever...
10. INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)
The summer of the killer box office, Independence Day was released amongst other hotshots like Twister and Mars Attacks!, but Will Smith's alien-butt-kicking was no match for them. Not only did the movie start an alien trend for the next ten years, it helped launch Smith into becoming one of the biggest money makers in Hollywood. Ever. If you want a big attendance for your film, cast Will Smith as you're set. Ok, and maybe a few aliens.
9. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
One of the most beloved family stories of all time, Steven Spielberg knocked it out of the park with his masterpiece ET. Earning a Best Picture nomination, the movie was shot completely secret, and audiences were thrilled when they finally got to see it. Not only did it boast a successful box office turn out, it also helped Reese's Pieces become one of the most popular candies.
8. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
Very rarely does a sequel out-do it's original counterpart. But, that's exactly what Terminator 2 does. With action star Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the Terminator, trying to once again save the lives of Sarah Connor and her son John, the thrills of this blockbuster are never-ending. The film brought in almost $200 million, plus it won 4 Academy Awards, spawned a successful attraction at Universal Studios theme parks, has allowed for two more sequels to follow it, and spawned a semi-successful television series. Not bad for a sequel.
7. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)
So, you're chilling at home. There's a weird noise. You look over and see a ghost. Who you gonna call? That's right, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. This comedy delight, directed by Ivan Reitman, gave moviegoers a chance to scream and laugh at the same time. The effects were cool, for the time, and the comedy/performances paved the way for the movies we have today. Considered a piece of comedy history, the movie brought in an incredible $238 million that summer.
6. TOY STORY 3 (2010)
Yes, it's brand new, but there's no denying that this film is going down as possibly the best third installment of a movie franchise ever. Critics have even touted is as the best of the three Toy Story films. Debuting 11 years after the second film, the characters have become some of the most beloved of all time, meaning there's something a little special about each and every scene in this most recent adventure. Not a single review leaves out the instructions for all moviegoers to make sure they bring a tissue. It's been a while since a movie could speak to everyone in the audience. It's for today's kids, and for their parents, who were just kids when the toys were first introduced.
5. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones is one of the most recognizable film characters of all time. The music score is unforgettable. The adventure is priceless. From the famous fedora, to the climactic scene when a giant ball is chasing our hero, Spielberg's masterpiece is cinema gold. It's what Hollywood films are about. Crazy stunts. Huge explosions. Sinister enemies. A hero that can't be stopped. Nominated for Best Picture, the film boasted a healthy $230 million gross in theaters.
4. BATMAN (1989)
One of Tim Burton's greatest gifts to cinema, this darker study of one of comic book's greatest heroes laid the groundwork for most of today's super hero films. The film took itself seriously as a film, turning what could have been cheesy into a believable story. Jack Nicholson's Joker will go down as one of the greatest performances of all time. Michael Keaton is the best Batman of this version of the franchise (which technically includes the three films that followed). The movie earned $250 million that year.
3. JAWS (1975)
The epitome of a good summer flick, Spielberg's movie still makes eager moviegoers scared of the ocean. Following the residents of a Massachusetts town after a series of shark attacks, the first sights of the great white shark still resonate in my brain. I'll never forget the first time I saw this movie and neither will the rest of the world. It's good, clean (ok, bloody) fun. Not a time goes by, when I'm in the ocean, that I'm not keeping an eye out for a fin coming towards me. Thank you, Mr. Spielberg.
2. THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
Christopher Nolan's crown achievement isn't his indie masterpiece Memento, it's this follow up to his Batman reboot Batman Begins. A cinematic masterpiece with stunning visuals, killer performances, and epic scenes, The Dark Knight is one of the biggest movies of all time. On top of being a high-profile movie, the death of actor Heath Ledger no doubt put more press on the film. His wickedly awesome turn as the Joker earned him a posthumous Academy Award. He steals the show in every scene. The film is the third highest grossing movie ever! Just behind Avatar and Titanic.
1. JURASSIC PARK (1993)
Possibly Steven Spielberg's best work, Jurassic Park is actually still pretty eye-opening, as the effects are still believable some 17 years later. The way the dinosaurs move was groundbreaking for the time, and audiences flocked to see how terrifying and fun it could be. Once again, Spielberg offered us one of the best times at a theater a person could have.
Honorable Mentions: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL; WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT; TWISTER; WALL-E; DIE HARD; TOTAL RECALL; ARMAGEDDON; BACK TO THE FUTURE; STAR WARS