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by Jason Frank Koenigsberg

We are stuck in the first non-existent summer for movies. Theaters remain closed, Hollywood backlots are empty, and movie schedules have postponed all the major releases and pushed them back to the fall or 2021. Only Christopher Nolan’s next movie Tenet has the chance to premiere in July. Nolan is the only man in Hollywood fighting for the theater experience to survive and is stubborn enough to support movie theaters in hopes that his film can be seen on the biggest screens with the largest crowds possible and be the blockbuster it was intended to be. We shall all find out the results of his efforts by July 17 if the general public are allowed to return to cinemas by then. The blockbuster movie seems to be dead or at least dormant at this time. The summer of 2020 will not go down in history as the worst summer at the movies, that would be 1983, go ahead look up what came out that season, nothing but Return of the Jedi and a lot of duds. This summer there is just going to be no activity whatsoever. The summer blockbuster was born on June 20, 1975 the day that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was released onto the masses. Beaches have never been the same and neither have movie theaters since studio executives saw the money that could be made from a giant hit released in the summer. Audiences were trained to expect the biggest budgeted spectacles between the months of May through August every year. That is just the way movie going was for decades. Oscar bait movies and important prestige pictures released in the fall and winter, big special effects blockbusters in the summer, and random movies throughout the early spring when the studios hoped for a sleeper hit. There have been some changes over the years but that method predominantly held true up until the Coronavirus outbreak put a halt to everything in 2020. We have looked at the best and most influential summer blockbuster movies of all time in a previous column, today we are going to look at the Best Summer Blockbuster Seasons of all time. Year by year, summer by summer ever since 1975. Some summers were much richer in content than others and here we are going to rate which summers provided the best movies during that lucrative summer blockbuster season. I chose to leave off the summer of 1975 even though it was highly influential thanks to Jaws, but honestly, other than that movie, not much else noteworthy was released during those months. It set the precedent and years later studios would try and capitalize and duplicate that pictures massive success. 

 

The Best Summers at the Movies 

10. 2015

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Significant Films: Mad Max: Fury Road, Spy, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Straight Outta Compton, Trainwreck, Ted 2.

Jurassic World emerged as the victor of the summer with the biggest receipts of the bunch. The rest of the movies performed solidly with Mad Max: Fury Road becoming the critical darling and defying all odds by winning six Academy Awards and being on not only critics top ten lists but also many best of the decade lists as well. Spy continued Melissa McCarthy’s reign as an unlikely box office draw while the fifth Mission: Impossible film extended Tom Cruises star power as well as a franchise that few prognosticators ever thought could last as long as it has. Straight Outta Compton was a huge hit and is one of the main culprits as to why studios are now obsessed with making the next great music biopic, and Inside Out shined bright as the best Pixar movie of the decade. The second Avengers movie continued Marvel’s dominance at the box office a trend that continued up until COVID19 forced theaters to close their doors. 

9. 1994

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Significant Films: Forrest Gump, The Lion King, The Shadow, The Mask, Speed, Clear and Present Danger, Maverick, The Client, Wolf, The Crow, True Lies, The Flintstones, In the Army Now, Angels in the Outfield, Camp Nowhere, The Little Rascals, Airheads, Crooklyn, Babies Day Out, Little Big League, Beverly Hills Cop III, North, Natural Born Killers. 

1994 is often regarded as one of the greatest years for movies and for the most part the summer blockbusters that came out from the summer of 1994 are no exception. The two most dominant films that summer were Disney’s The Lion King and eventual Academy Award Best Picture Winner Forrest Gump. Critics and audiences loved those two films so much that Tom Hanks and Simba made it hard for other summer movies to get much love. Keanu Reeves surprised a lot of people with his biggest box office hit at that point of his career with Speed, a movie that worked way better than anyone expected a Die Hard on a bus clone could be. Schwarzenegger rebounded from a tough flop the previous summer with Last Action Hero and reunited with James Cameron for their biggest hit since their last collaboration on Terminator 2 (1991) with True Lies, which ended up being the last time Arnold had a major box office smash. Harrison Ford continued to be a box office force with his second Jack Ryan thriller Clear and Present Danger. Jim Carrey had his second big movie of his career with The Mask proving that Ace Ventura: Pet Detective from earlier that year was no fluke. Then there were some medium sized hits like The Flintstones, Maverick, and The Client. Controversy surrounded Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers but it still made a nice sum at the box office in late August and pushed Woody Harrelson as a star on the small screen to the big screen star he still is today, and tragic on-set events surrounded The Crow which still performed well at the box office that May. There were also some very notable flops like Rob Reiner’s ill conceived comedy North. Then there was Airheads which would later become a cult film thanks to its huge cast, and The Shadow which once again failed to keep Alec Baldwin from becoming the next Harrison Ford. Baldwin never became the big in-demand marquee star that would force his career into different but very interesting directions. 

8. 1993

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Significant Films: Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, Last Action Hero, Hot Shots Part Deux, Super Mario Bros., Cliffhanger, Dennis the Menace, In the Line of Fire, Hocus Pocus, Coneheads, Needful Things, The Firm, Free Willy, Sleepless in Seattle, Rising Sun, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. 

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park dominated the summer with its groundbreaking special effects. He once again was back on top and breaking his own records with the biggest blockbuster of its time. This was a milestone moment for computer generated effects in movies and also culminated in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest box office bomb at the time with Last Action Hero released the week after Jurassic Park to underwhelming critical responses and ticket sales. I still think Last Action Hero is a valiant effort and succeeds as a meta-commentary crossed with an action movie. Harrison Ford as The Fugitive ended up being the best straight action movie of the summer that was a pure chase movie with Tommy Lee Jones giving a scene stealing performance that ended up winning him a well deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The other great action movie from that summer was Clint Eastwood starring in Wolfgang Peterson’s In the Line of Fire which cleverly cashed in on the 30th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, well at least the same year, they pushed it up a few months for a big summer release date, which also earned John Malkovich as the psychotic killer a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Sleepless in Seattle was the last big summer hit for Tom Hanks before he became an Academy Award winner. Then there were medium sized hits with Cliffhanger, easily Stallone’s best action vehicle of the decade, Free Willy, a movie Spielberg could have directed in his sleep if he did not want to push moviemaking special effects to the edge, and Tom Cruise starred in The Firm, a successful legal thriller, the first of several hit movies based on a John Grisham novel. There were also some spectacularly memorable flops like the Super Mario Bros. movie which we have since learned was one of the most hellish productions ever. Coneheads would pretty much be the final straw for Dan Aykroyd’s career as a leading man, and Hocus Pocus was a dud at the box office but over the years has become a beloved cult classic by audiences of a certain age with fond memories of the film.

7. 2008

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Significant Films: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Mama Mia, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Wanted, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Sex and the City, The Happening, Wall-E, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Step Brothers, Get Smart, Speed Racer, The Incredible Hulk. 

2008 will go down in cinematic history for releasing two of the most influential and important comic book movies of all time. Iron Man which was the first movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and set the cookie cutter pattern that all of the movies from the MCU would follow. It was released in early May and was a huge box office success and improved Robert Downey Jr.’s star power. Then in July Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated sequel to Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight was unleashed on movie goers and set the box office on fire, becoming the highest grossing film of the year, the second highest grossing film of the decade, and at one point was the third highest grossing movie of all time. Much of the hype surrounded Heath Ledger in his final completed role before his untimely death as the Joker winning a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar the following year, but both The Dark Knight and Iron Man set new standards for superhero movies and their legacies loom very large even today over all motion picture blockbusters. After those juggernauts, 2008 had some respectable hits that are still beloved today with the Abba musical Mama Mia, Ben Stiller’s long awaited directorial follow up to Zoolander (2001) with Tropic Thunder, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as hilarious underachievers in Step Brothers, and one of the most critically acclaimed Pixar movies of all time with the smart and cynical Wall-E. There were also some big turkeys at the box office that many people have forgotten about like the innocuous big budget Get Smart movie adaptation, that failed to launch of franchise, M. Night Shyamalan’s poorly received The Happening which was his first and thus far only R-rated feature, and sadly most people have not forgotten the bad taste that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left in their mouth, but many wish that they could.

6. 2002

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Significant Films: About a Boy, Spider-Man, The Bourne Identity, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Signs, Insomnia, Lilo and Stitch, Men in Black II, Minority Report, Unfaithful, Reign of Fire, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Blue Crush, The Sum of All Fears, Windtalkers, Road to Perdition.

2002 will go down in history as being one of the biggest and best summers at the box office but also the first time a Star Wars movie was released and was not the number one movie of the year. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones opened up to scathing critical reviews but still performed monster numbers at the box office all summer long. Unfortunately Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was released three weeks prior during the first weekend in May and kicked off the summer blockbuster season with over $100 million its opening weekend and it would never be stopped. Spidey was not the only franchise to have its first major movie released in the summer of 2002. Later that June Matt Damon starred as Jason Bourne for the very first time in The Bourne Identity and history was made establishing himself and his character as the biggest spy action hero since James Bond. The Star Wars franchise was not the only major sequel that summer. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunited for Men in Black II, but nobody really cared and it remains forgotten as a soulless cash grab to a previous summer blockbuster titan. Ben Affleck took over the mantle to add younger blood to the Jack Ryan movie series with The Sum of All Fears, and that made respectable money and critical praise yet today it is often regarded as a weaker entry for Tom Clancy’s most famous hero saga. The fact that a sequel with Affleck was never greenly hurts the films legacy. M. Night Shyamalan had his biggest summer blockbuster since The Sixth Sense (1999) with Signs, which was also the last time Mel Gibson was a leading man in a big movie before his career changed trajectories with The Passion of the Christ (2004). But the summer of 2002 brought about some of the smartest and most intelligent movies that audiences had seen in quite some time during what was usually thought of as a season for brainless fun. Steven Spielberg made one of his best and most underrated sci-fi action thrillers with Tom Cruise in Minority Report, Hugh Grant made arguably his best romantic comedy ever with About a Boy, and Christopher Nolan directed his first big budget studio movie after his indie hit Memento (2001) with Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams in Insomnia. Perhaps one of the best movies to come out during this period was Sam Mendes’ follow up to his Academy Award winning American Beauty with Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks, Jude Law, and Paul Newman in the film that would earn Newman his final Academy Award nomination. If some of these prestige movies were released in the fall and rather than the summertime they may have received more much more well deserved attention during awards season.

5. 1977

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Significant Films: Star Wars, Smokey and the Bandit, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Spy Who Loved Me, Sorcerer, Suspiria, The Kentucky Fried Movie, New York, New York.

The summer (and most of the rest of 1977) was dominated by Star Wars. Who could blame the public for going crazy over this movie. It was a game changer even more so than Jaws because not only did it break every record at the box office but it has impacted our culture ever since. Not just American culture but the entire world has fallen for George Lucas’ saga of Jedi’s, lightsabers, and an all powerful mystical force. There were a few other box office success stories that summer the biggest and second highest grossing movie of the year was a bit of counter programming for everyone that did not get or care to get involved in a space opera with Smokey and the Bandit starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. Lucas’ best buddy Steven Spielberg was not going to be left out in the cold. That summer he released his own major science fiction blockbuster Close Encounters of the Third Kind to great success, and Roger Moore had his biggest hit as 007 in The Spy Who Loved Me which formally announced James Bond as no longer being in the shadow of Sean Connery and establishing the secret agent once again as a global phenomenon. It was not a successful summer for some highly respected directors across the board. Martin Scorsese could not share in his friends Lucas and Spielberg’s success as he suffered the first major flop of his career with the three hour long musical New York, New York which is now mostly just known for the iconic title song being one of Frank Sinatra’s signature tunes. Plus, William Friedkin fresh off his one-two punch of The French Connection (1971) and The Exorcist (1973) could not generate enough buzz for viewers to buy tickets for Sorcerer which flopped despite earning rave reviews and starring Roy Scheider from Jaws.

4. 1996

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Significant Films: Independence Day, The Rock, Twister, The Nutty Professor, Mission: Impossible, Multiplicity, The Frighteners, Phenomenon, Dragonheart, The Cable Guy, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jack, Matilda, The Craft, A Time to Kill, The Crow: City of Angels, Kingpin, The Phantom, Spy Hard, Courage Under Fire, Eraser, Striptease, Escape from L.A., The Arrival, The Island of Dr. Moreau. 

One of the biggest summers at the movies ever based on ticket sales for that time, and the summer that unofficially announced that computer generated special effects were here to stay and going to dominate all future blockbusters. If 1993 was the summer that declared computer generated images as the future of blockbuster films, then it was 1996 that formally let it be known that CGI is now the norm. The two films that illustrated this better than anything else were Independence Day, which would capitalize on its July 4th release and become biggest film of the summer and year, along with Twister which solidified early May as a time when audiences are hungry for a big tentpole movie. They both showcased state of the art special effects that involved massive devastation to cityscapes, landscapes, and provided jaw dropping moments to audiences across the world. Independence Day took it a step forward with its giant sized UFO’s and alien creatures the likes of which nobody had ever seen while simultaneously making Will Smith a household name. Those movies beat out some of Hollywood’s biggest stars who still had very profitable summers like Tom Cruise who’s Mission: Impossible series is still going strong today and got started back in May of 1996, Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage were both huge names and together they helped make The Rock one of the highest grossing action movies of the year, and Eddie Murphy had his biggest box office success in years with his remake of The Nutty Professor. Not all big stars had memorable summers, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Eraser is probably one movie he would like to erase from his memory with how it underperformed based on Arnie’s high standards at the box office. Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer teamed up to make one of the most iconic guilty pleasures of all time starring in a tumultuous adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau. Jim Carrey was the reigning King of Comedy but The Cable Guy was a dark offbeat film audiences and critics were not sure what to make of and it was the first black eye on his resume as a leading man. Michael Keaton was only four years removed from playing Batman but nobody cared about his cloning comedy Multiplicity. Robin Williams teamed up with Francis Ford Coppola of all people to do his shtick in Jack which was just a bad ripoff of Big (1988). Demi Moore suffered another in a string of flops with Striptease that eventually ended her above the title star status, and Michael J. Fox had his final leading role in a major studio movie with The Frighteners which underperformed so badly he retreated back to television and found success again with Spin City. There were also some intelligent medium sized hits that summer. John Travolta continued his comeback with the moderately successful Phenomenon. Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan leant their talents to Edward Zwick’s intelligent Persian Gulf War movie Courage Under Fire. In between ruining the Batman franchise for Warner Bros. Joel Schumacher had a solid hit with A Time to Kill based on the John Grisham novel, and Danny DeVito directed and starred in one of the best family movies of the year with Matilda.

3. 1989

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Significant Films: Batman, Ghostbusters 2, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Parenthood, Do the Right Thing, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dead Poets Society, Road House, Weekend at Bernie’s, UHF, Lethal Weapon 2, License to Kill, Uncle Buck, When Harry Met Sally, The Abyss, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, The Karate Kid Part III, Turner and Hooch, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

The summer of 1989 is often cited as the biggest blockbuster summer of all time and for good reason. A lot of movies were breaking records and satisfying myriads of movie fans across the nation between Memorial Day and Labor Day during the final summer of the 80’s. Tim Burton’s dark revolutionary take on Batman dominated for most of the summer and was the biggest hit of the year. Steven Spielberg continued doing what he does best and had another major blockbuster with the Memorial Day weekend release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade combining the star power of Harrison Ford with Sean Connery for one of the biggest hits of the summer. They were not the only bigs stars to join forces for a huge box office total. Danny Glover and Mel Gibson reteamed for the action packed sequel Lethal Weapon 2 which was a big victory for Warner Bros. that surpassed expectations. The unlikeliest box office star of the summer was Rick Moranis. A comedic actor often known for playing nerdy roles had three huge hits released in the summer of 1989 with Ghostbusters 2, Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and he starred alongside Steve Martin in Ron Howard’s Parenthood. Robin Williams had a huge summer movie with enough positive buzz it became a major Oscar contender later that year with Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan had a huge hit that lasted well into the fall and was an awards season contender with When Harry Met Sally, and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing was an indie hit that crossed over into the mainstream creating a dialogue about race. Sadly, Do the Right Thing was notoriously snubbed by the Oscars during the awards season marathon but it has left a huge impact on cinema and US culture. Sex, Lies, and Videotape was an independent movie that sparked a lot of controversy and jump started the career of filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. With so many great movies released in a three month window and so many earning huge profits at the box office there were bound to be some disappointments. James Cameron, one of the most lucrative filmmakers of all time suffered his first and thus far only failure at the box office with his underwater thriller The Abyss. The Karate Kid did not have the same luck as the Lethal Weapon, Ghostbusters, and the Indiana Jones franchises when The Karate Kid Part III was released to a lukewarm reception by critics and audiences, and the Star Trek movies hit a bump in the road with the underperforming Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Weird Al Yankovic’s crossover movie UHF was not the comedy hit its producers were hoping for and it did not even debut in the top ten during its opening weekend. UHF has since gone on to become a cult comedy which probably would have been its destiny regardless of when it was released. Even James Bond was a casualty during the crowded summer of 1989 with Timothy Dalton’s final outing License to Kill. It performed modestly but far from what a usual 007 movie would take in. This hurt the franchise so much that Dalton walked away from the role and it would be six years of legal battles until there was a new James Bond movie. Even the reliable horror series Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan had an entry that underwhelmed so much that Paramount sold off their rights to the once profitable franchise to New Line cinema.

2. 1984

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Significant Films: Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Revenge of the Nerds, The Bounty, Sixteen Candles, Tightrope, Purple Rain, Top Secret, The NeverEnding Story, Conan The Destroyer, The Natural, Gremlins, Red Dawn, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Bachelor Party, Once Upon a Time in America. 

Ghostbusters was the biggest hit of the summer that year. A high concept comedy that mixed big special effects with big laughs and enhanced the careers of its stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and director Ivan Reitman. That is saying a lot considering it defeated Steven Spielberg’s highly successful Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the sequel to his giant hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. Perhaps some of the shocking violent images in that film which pushed its PG rating to the limit and inspired the PG-13 rating slightly hurt its box office. But later that summer the first officially rated PG-13 movie would come out and perform well with John Milius’ patriotic Cold War thriller Red Dawn. Screen violence in Joe Dante’s Gremlins which was produced by Steven Spielberg also pushed the PG rating to the limit but still earned huge ticket sales at the box office. One of the biggest surprise hits of the summer was The Karate Kid which would be the second sports film directed by John G. Avildsen after Rocky (1976) to launch a franchise. It was one of the most universally beloved films from that summer and earned Asian-American actor Pat Morita a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination. Sports movies were red hot that summer as veteran actor Robert Redford had one of his biggest hits in the crowd pleasing baseball movie The Natural. Iconic 80’s director John Hughes had one of his first big movies with Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwold whom he would eventually help become an 80’s sweetheart. Revenge of the Nerds was the sleeper hit coming out in mid August and raking in a decent haul at the box office. Pop star Prince was at the peak of his fame and his well timed movie debut Purple Rain was a huge hit, and Roger Donaldson directed an all star cast including Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins in his remake of the classic true story of mutiny with The Bounty. Plus, legendary actor Tom Hanks had one of his first big hits with Bachelor Party. There were some notorious flops mixed in with the big hits that got lost in the shuffle of a crowded summer. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock underperformed after the highly successful Wrath of Khan and started the trend of odd number Star Trek feature films being the weak ones. The guys who made Airplane (1980) could not get the same success with Top Secret (1984) which was the debut film of future mega star Val Kilmer, and Sergio Leone’s crime epic Once Upon a Time in America starring Robert De Niro and James Woods went through so many re-edits and was butchered upon its initial summer debut which resulted in the epic film being poorly received by critics and audiences. It would not be until years later that a true cut of the film would be released and an eventual classic of the gangster genre would be unveiled to the world. 

1. 1982

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Significant Films: E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Blade Runner, The Thing, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tron, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Poltergeist, An Officer and a Gentleman, Rocky III, Conan The Barbarian.

The summer of 1982 was an embarrassment of riches. So many modern classics especially in science fiction were released during this amazing blockbuster season it is incredible that they were not all hits nor were they all critically acclaimed. Audiences of 1982 were spoiled with so many outstanding choices to go and see on this big screen 1982 may represent the last time that blockbusters were so personal and had directors visions stamped on them so blatantly. The last time before blockbuster moviemaking became all about the studio machines that was soulless and only cared about making money. In years since movies over the summer have been relegated even more to either just being the massive blockbusters that costs over $100 million to make or the small indie film that gains buzz through the internet and word of mouth. Maybe these movies are a reflection of what life was like, wealth was more evenly distributed during the early Reagan era of the 80’s and is now more polarizing in the 21st century with a dissolving middle class and where the rich have gotten richer and the working class has grown. The late 70’s and early 80’s was the time when movies started to change from being the filmmakers personal vision to giving directors less individual control and having committees determine what would work and what would not for a major tentpole movie. The special effects were different. Today movies can do anything with CGI but that often leaves a very impersonal touch on big blockbusters making them lose the emotional effect that films like E.T., Poltergeist, and The Thing do not lack with their practical make-up effects. Steven Spielberg would once again be the king of the summer with not one but two movies. He directed E.T. which was the highest grossing film of the year and was the most personal blockbuster of his career. His fingerprints were also all over Poltergeist, a total opposite type of film which he wrote, produced and storyboarded only to hand the directorial work over to Tobe Hooper which was the biggest financial hit of Hooper’s career who earned fame from directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). There of course were some casualties thanks to Spielberg once again dominating the summer months and E.T. was the type of film that audiences wanted to see again and again. That happy comfort food did not leave much room for Blade Runner and The Thing, two other future science fiction classics that floundered in the wake of E.T.‘s success. Both were met with mediocre reviews and disappointing box office returns. Today Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is considered a landmark in science fiction cinema, and John Carpenter’s The Thing remake is hailed as the best movie of his career but back in 1982 audiences and critics did not know what to make of them and just wanted more conventional blockbusters. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a big hit and is today regarded as the best of the Star Trek movies. Its success allowed the franchise to continue resulting in six movies with the original series cast. Rocky III was more of the same but continued a decade of success for the franchise and its star Sylvester Stallone. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was a big sequel as well and further propelled the careers of its director George Miller and star Mel Gibson to bigger things. An Officer and a Gentleman launched Debra Winger and Richard Gere as box office draws and was the biggest counter programming hit of the summer months. Also, not to be forgotten the summer of 1982 announced to the world that one of the biggest movie stars of the future had arrived with his first big blockbuster Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakout role as Conan the Barbarian took the world by surprise and producers realized he could carry a big budget movie. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is regarded as comedy classic and with good reason and was a big success with the teenage demographic. Even Disney had a solid hit cashing in on the growing consumption of video games with Jeff Bridges in Tron. 1982 was a summer to be reckoned with and no other summer has been able to eclipse the incredible and diverse wealth of movies that were distributed to the masses.

Check out this video below of a preview of what movies were coming out in the summer of 1982. Audiences did not know what joys were in store for them.

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