Summer usually means blockbusters in theaters. But where does the term and the tradition come from? Join us as we explore the history of the summer blockbuster. What movies started it all? What changes led to it becoming such a powerful season for Hollywood? And what does the future hold for summer blockbusters? We’ll answer all of these questions and more! So whether you’re a film historian or just an average movie buff interested in learning more about your favorite hobby, keep reading!
The summer blockbuster started with a story about a “little” shark
While we can see the idea of a summer blockbuster dating from 1943 with by Richard Wallace war movie Bomber, by Spielberg Jaws is named the first “real” blockbuster of the summer. Released June 20, 1975, Jaws became the first film to earn $100 million at the box office. Jaws can also thank his unique marketing plan for a successful first. With 24-30 second TV commercials, the unforgettable shark poster and a haunting score by John Williamspeople had to see this movie for themselves.
— Kyle Lambert — Art (@kylelambert) June 21, 2022
george lucas followed in by Spielberg steps with star wars. Outdated sci-fi space odyssey Jaws at the box office with $775.8 million. These types of big-budget movies appealed to filmmakers, leading to a wave of summer movie drops throughout the 80s and 90s, including Extraterrestrial, IndianaJones, jurassic park, Back to the futureand more.
In the 2000s, summer blockbusters kept coming with x-men (2000), Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), The black Knight (2008), Creation (2010), guardians of the galaxy (2014), Avengers: Infinity War (2017), and Hereditary (2018).
What makes a movie a summer blockbuster?
The summer blockbuster is a big budget movie that comes out at the height of the summer season. It usually has some kind of crazy special effects or epic storyline with iconic stars. Often, films are announced several months to a year in advance to encourage the public to see the film in theaters!
Flashback to the early 1900s. Movie theaters were hot sweaty rooms, especially in the summer. Then in 1925, cinemas finally installed air conditioning. Still, the outdoors called to them during the summer months, so what would make them want to stay indoors for a movie? Hollywood studios needed to bring big, exciting movies to the big screen that were worth seeing in theaters.
Now, with modernized air conditioning, comfy seats and drool-worthy snacks, movie theaters are a great place for a brief respite from the outdoors. Rainy days, hot days, or anytime you want to spend a few hours in a dark, cool room, movies are the place to be.
Fans share their favorite summer blockbusters
Since the ’80s, there have been endless genres of summer blockbusters: horror, family, action-adventure, sci-fi, and even romantic comedies.
Moviegoers still share their favorite films over the years on Twitter:
On June 20, 1975, the premiere of Jaws took place.
Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster is still one of his best movies – I like it way better than Lincoln. John Williams’ legendary score, a terrific performance from Robert Shaw and a very menacing shark made this one a true classic. pic.twitter.com/6W4oNNpCwO
— Michael W. Freeman (@Freelineorlando) June 20, 2022
Michael argues that the original summer blockbuster takes the cake.
At the movie theater; here in the UK it was a 12, and I was only almost 11, but still managed to get in! Turned out to be the best summer blockbuster I’ve ever seen, and more!
— Jimi Fletcher (@mrjimifletcher) June 20, 2022
Jimi remembers seeing batman begins like it was yesterday – a memorable summer blockbuster.
I remember Return of the Jedi came to the theater just as school was going out for the summer. I saw it at the Cinedome in Ogden, Utah. I also saw Grease there which was another great summer experience. Looking forward to the new Jurassic movie very soon!
— Fourkidslater (@WildesMillar) June 4, 2022
Two very different films that could bring similar audiences. I mean, Fat has “summer love” in one of the songs. . .
high school musical 2. no other movie even came close to the pure summer vibes it gave off and i’m not exaggerating at all
— Ly🌙🥀 broadcast obi wan kenobi (@hafbloodkhonshu) June 1, 2022
Singing, dancing, summer fun and Zac Efron? We can be behind this.
It’s crazy to consider the impact Spielberg has had on different generations of moviegoers and how he could arguably be the best movie of the decade running since the 70s! Jurassic Park is for me THE summer blockbuster par excellence
—Ryan Richards (@ryansrich1987) June 16, 2022
Ryan is the team jurassic park and always as a team Spielberg.
It’s interesting. I consider “summer blockbusters” to be mostly action movies. Maybe animation, but top blockbuster lists will include stuff like There’s Something About Mary and The Sixth Sense that I personally wouldn’t include.
— Erin (@ErinMPeyton) June 15, 2022
Erin has an interesting take on the fact that big blockbusters should be action-focused. Is she right? Or can romantic or horror films be just as valid?
Summer 2022 blockbusters to watch
The list of potential blockbusters for summer 2022 looks more promising by the minute.
Tom Cruise returns to the role of Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick, released at the end of May. With the help of fighter jets, dramas, a pinch of nostalgia and Miles Teller shirtless body dance movesthe movie won $400 million in box office receipts.
On first viewing, I thought Top Gun Maverick was really good. Second viewing, I declare it hands down the best summer blockbuster since Nolan’s series of The Dark Knight and Inception over a decade ago. pic.twitter.com/hm6QhS8MBa
— Chris Vogel (@chrisvogel_92) June 19, 2022
The end of the trilogy jurassic world turns out to be another big blockbuster of the summer.
First key points of Jurassic World Dominion:
There is absolutely a world where The Fast & The Jurassic could exist.
I’m not entirely convinced that Jeff Goldblum and Ian Malcom aren’t legitimately the same person.
It’s a very fun summer blockbuster.
— kyle the pizza baron (@kyleembke) June 18, 2022
An unexpected movie Marcel the shellis called the movie of the summer by some film critics.
— Cameron Scheetz (@cameronscheetz) June 10, 2022
Light year is a summer movie for audiences of all ages.
Pixar’s return to the big screen is also the closest it has come to a summer blockbuster. #Light year is an entertaining space adventure and a clever way to keep the TOY STORY franchise going, but that’s it. https://t.co/C7hs0dscbf
— Travis Hopson (@punchycritic) June 14, 2022
There are still so many more movies coming out soon too! The Austin Butler and tom hank– directed biopic Elvis hits theaters June 24, along with the horror flick The black phone.
Marvel fans, you’re in luck because the next Thor The film hits theaters on July 8!
summer blockbuster it’s true https://t.co/m7HefqF3KX
— SUNNY DAY (@THORFlLMS) June 21, 2022
We have also Jordan Peele sci-fi thriller Nope end of July, and by Brad Pitt high speed train slated for release in August.
Have you seen any of the big blockbusters of summer 2022 yet? What’s your favorite summer movie? Let us know on Twitter!
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