Summer used to be an important time for movie studios. Movie ticket sales were unusually strong on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Producers would target those holiday weekends with blockbuster movies meant to launch in theaters on the three-day weekend. COVID-19 changed that, both last year and this. The summer of 2020 was particularly hard because most theaters were completely closed.
Thankfully, ticket sales have started to rebound as the pandemic loosens its grip. People are feeling safe in theaters again and heading out to see this summer’s big draws, like “Black Widow” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
To determine the biggest summer release of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed box office data from the film industry site The Numbers. Summer-release movies on the finalist list were ranked based on lifetime domestic box office. Only films with domestic release dates in June, July or August were considered. Data on worldwide box office also came from The Numbers. Supplemental data on Tomatometer score came from Rotten Tomatoes. Data on each finalist film’s IMDb rating came from the Internet Movie Database.
The biggest summer movie based on our metrics was “Jurassic World,” released in 2015. Here are the details:
- Domestic box office: $652.3 million
- Worldwide box office: $1.7 billion
- Tomatometer score: 71% (351 critic votes)
- IMDb rating: 7/10 (585,222 audience votes)
In this film, Jurassic World is now a functioning dinosaur theme park built on the ruins of the original park destroyed years ago. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the manager of the new park, where she welcomes her two nephews for a visit. However, the nephews are delinquent, entering a restricted area and encountering the Indominus rex, a dinosaur made by a gene-altering procedure, and a highly lethal one.