Special Report

The Biggest Summer Blockbuster Each Year Since 1975

Blockbusters are movies with big budgets and ideally with even bigger returns. Most people consider either Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” released in 1975, as the birth of the summer blockbusters.

Expensive movies that are expected to turn a huge profit often have large marketing campaigns and extensive merchandising. Prior to “Jaws,” movies were not really advertised on TV because it cost too much. Also, the summer was considered the off season for film releases. Since 1975, however, some of the top grossing movies in Hollywood history have been released in the summer.

24/7 Tempo has identified the biggest summer blockbuster each year since 1975 — beginning with “Jaws” — based on domestic box office data provided by box office reporting service Box Office Mojo.

Many of the biggest summer blockbusters involve superheroes. In recent years, movies released as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been among audience’s favorites. As franchise films have been growing in popularity at the summer box office, blockbuster movies without sequels are becoming increasingly rare.

A movie’s performance at the box office gets plenty of attention. What’s the biggest box-office bomb of all time? It seems there is never a guarantee a movie is going to turn a profit — here are the biggest movie flops in Hollywood history.

Click here for the summer blockbuster of every years since 1975


To determine the biggest summer blockbuster each year since 1975, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on movies’ box office gross and release date from film data site Box Office Mojo.

Films released between the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend of each year were ranked based on lifetime domestic box office gross.

Data on the number of movies released each summer and their cumulative domestic box office gross also came from Box Office Mojo. Data on production budgets came from film data site The Numbers.