The Best of the Best: 10 Summertime Blockbusters

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
May 14th, 2013

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The Best of the Best: 10 Summertime Blockbusters

What would summertime be without some epic heroes to love, supernatural creatures and villains to fear, and adventures to make us swoon? Summer and blockbuster movies seem to go hand in hand. In anticipation of more good things to come, it can be a lot of fun to revisit some of the biggest and most memorable summer flicks of days gone by.

"The Avengers" (2012)

When big names like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and The Hulk get together, big things are destined to happen. "The Avengers" was a megahit in theaters. It holds the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend ever. It earned over $200 million at the box office in just three days. With its nearly 150-minute run time, it is the longest Marvel film to date. Its cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans, was phenomenal. The writers blended humor with iconic moments in a storyline that was easy to follow and kept viewers on the edges of their seats. It's little wonder that a sequel is in the works.

"The Dark Knight" (2008)

Any movie involving the world's favorite caped crusader is bound to draw a big audience, especially when Batman is pitted against his archenemy, the Joker. Christian Bale and Heath Ledger shine in this action-packed summer flick. Numbers don't lie: "The Dark Knight" garnered $533 million at the box office.

"Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)

What do you get when you cross biblical wrath, Nazis, and a plethora of snakes? You get one of the most beloved action movies of all time-and the start of something big in the Indy machine. Arguably, no action hero has surpassed Indiana Jones, and perhaps none ever will. If snakes, guns, swords, and lots of fighting appeal to you, you'll be a diehard fan of this movie that pits Jones (Harrison Ford) against the Nazis in an attempt to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

"Star Wars" (1977)

This is the original film that started it all for the "Star Wars" franchise. It is widely considered to be one of the most successful movies of all time, having earned over $550 million at box offices around the globe. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and it's been rereleased a number of times, always to captive, welcoming audiences.

"Independence Day" (1996)

Regardless of who is in the White House, movies that give us a feel for what it would be like to be taken over by another power invariably draw some attention. Throw Will Smith into the mix and release a film titled "Independence Day" a few days before said date, and yes, theaters will fill. Although the storyline-aliens try to take over the planet-is tried and true, the film brought in over $300 million at the box office. 

"Toy Story 3" (2010)

The third installment in the Disney-Pixar "Toy Story" franchise arrived just in time to break up its fans' summertime boredom. This sequel puts the toys in a daycare center and details their journey back to Andy's house, bringing about heart-wrenching moments and hilarious laughs. Its creators laughed all the way to the bank, since the film grossed $414 million.

"Jurassic Park" (1993)

Many people don't realize how busy Steven Spielberg was the year he created "Jurassic Park"; it was also the same year he directed "Schindler's List." This monster-sized film brought in $914 million, which is super close to being a billion bucks. The magic of seeing dinosaurs brought to life on the big screen and the horror of seeing what dinosaurs could do to us mere humans are just a few reasons to love this action-packed flick.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003)

A boy falls in love with girl. The girl gets kidnapped by pirates. The boy must team up with legendary captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)-the craziest, coolest, funniest man with an eyepatch ever to sail the open seas-to save the girl. Throw in a few wily characters and a quest to discover a cursed hoard of Aztec gold, and you have the recipe for reeling in $300 million and some change at the box office.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" (2011)

Love him or hate him, everything that Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)-or should that be J.K. Rowling?-touches turns to gold at the box office. The release of this final chapter in the series is proof positive that the world is bewitched by the characters in Rowling's series of books. It grossed around $380 million and was even available to view in 3-D. The film, which continues to chronicle the adventures of a young wizard and his friends, was nominated for numerous awards, including three Oscars.

"The Hangover" (2009)

Grossing $277 million at the box office is a huge feat for any film, especially one that is based on a group of drunks. It is said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, at least for these four fun-loving party animals, who are out to have a few misadventures before one of them walks down the aisle.