The Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time
Summer 2017 was a weird time. The politics throughout were unpleasant to say the least, and it ended with a bang when hurricane after hurricane battered the southern States, decimating cities in Texas and Florida.
Hollywood definitely took a back seat this summer — which makes sense because there wasn’t really anything for them to offer. Although this past summer was mysteriously lacking in summer blockbusters, let’s look back at some of the biggest summer blockbusters in history.
1. Star Wars: A New Hope
Although Star Wars: A New Hope came out on May 25, 1977, it was such a sensation that it stayed in theaters all through that summer, and by the end of the year, it had clinched the title of highest-grossing film of all time.
A New Hope would go onto win seven Academy Awards that year, and has been recognized as one of the most significant movies of all time. None of the sequels were as much of a sensation as A New Hope, but really, it’s hard to compare — George Lucas’s epic space opera changed the way we see movies.
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
When E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial came out in the summer of 1982, it surpassed Star Wars: A New Hope as the top-grossing movie of all time, and it held that title for 11 more years.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, E.T. featured a cast of talented young actors (including a very young Drew Barrymore), and told the story of a group of children trying to return an alien named E.T. to his homeland. The movie was re-released three years later in 1985, and then again in 2002, when it came out with additional scenes and updated digital effects.
One of the first movies to be considered a “summer blockbuster” was Jaws, which came out in 1975. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it quickly set the standard for the ideal summer blockbuster — a movie with lots of action but not too much to think about, supported by a massive ad campaign designed to drive people to the theater.
The effects in the movie originally left a lot to be desired, so Spielberg decided to suggest the presence of the shark rather than use special effects. The result was a truly terrifying movie that kept people coming back for more.