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Highest-grossing summer films since 1982

Each summer, you’re bound to get a couple of gems and those blockbuster films that knock your socks off. Since 1982 (that’s as far back as Box Office Mojo goes), 4,807 films have been released during summertime. But which of those 4,807 made the most money?

Let’s take a look at the list of the highest-grossing summer films since 1982 …

  • 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (currently …)
  • 2016 Finding Dory
  • 2015 Jurassic World
  • 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 2013 Iron Man 3
  • 2012 The Avengers
  • 2011 Harry Potter / Deathly Hallows (P2)
  • 2010 Toy Story 3
  • 2009 Transformers 2
  • 2008 The Dark Knight
  • 2007 Spider-Man 3
  • 2006 Dead Man’s Chest
  • 2005 Revenge of the Sith
  • 2004 Shrek 2
  • 2003 Finding Nemo
  • 2002 Spider-Man
  • 2001 Shrek
  • 2000 Mission: Impossible II
  • 1999 The Phantom Menace
  • 1998 Saving Private Ryan
  • 1997 Men in Black
  • 1996 Independence Day
  • 1995 Batman Forever
  • 1994 Forrest Gump
  • 1993 Jurassic Park
  • 1992 Batman Returns
  • 1991 Terminator 2
  • 1990 Ghost
  • 1989 Batman
  • 1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • 1987 Beverly Hills Cop II
  • 1986 Top Gun
  • 1985 Back to the Future
  • 1984 Ghostbusters
  • 1983 Return of the Jedi
  • 1982 E.T.

I love looking back in time a bit, seeing which films really rocked the box office and trying to put myself into studio executives’ shoes during those years. In today’s age, Beverly Hills Cop II wouldn’t get close to the highest-grossing film of the summer. On the flip side, who in 1982 would be rushing to the box office for Shrek?

shrek2001b

Photo: Dreamworks

A couple of things are interesting about this list, including the impact of superhero films. There are 10 films that are considered in the genre, and a very interesting stretch of three back-to-back summers where Marvel Studios flexed their muscles:

Three of the films featured on this list are also in the top 10 all-time grossing films worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

  • 2011 Harry Potter / Deathly Hallows (P2)
  • 2012 The Avengers
  • 2015 Jurassic World

Summertime films are always interesting, whether it be in a positive or negative light. Sometimes they crash and burn, but sometimes studios get ’em right.

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