Special Report

This Summer's Biggest Hit Movies in the World

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

The concept of the summer blockbuster – meaning a high-profile smash hit that becomes a cultural phenomenon during the summer moviegoing season – was born in 1975, with the release of Steven Spielberg’s fright classic “Jaws.” The film launched what has been called the blockbuster era, soon to spawn the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Batman, and Back to the Future franchises, among others, as well as such standalone hits as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “The Hunt for Red October.” (These are the biggest summer movie releases of all time.)

It might seem counterintuitive that summertime is a major moviegoing season – the time of year when many high-profile cinematic efforts are released. Shouldn’t people be outside, at the beach, at parks, at ballgames or outdoor arena shows? (Well, maybe not at the beach if they’ve seen “Jaws”….)

Well, yes, and those are popular seasonal destinations too – but summer is the annual period when people have the most time on their hands. School’s out, many lucky workers get summer Fridays, vacations beckon. But you can’t stay out in the sun or the warm night air all the time, and summer also offers a great opportunity to enjoy entertainment that isn’t too demanding – and Hollywood is glad to oblige.

Of course not every summer movie is a blockbuster, or is even meant to be one. As at other times of year, appealing “little” films appear alongside the latest Marvel super-flick and “Fast and Furious” iteration. (Here’s a ranking of the best Marvel movies of all time.)

To determine the biggest hit movies of this summer (so far), 24/7 Tempo reviewed box office data from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Movies released on May 5, 2023 or later were ranked based on global ticket sales as of Aug. 14. Documentaries were not considered. Supplemental data on IMDb user rating is also current as of Aug. 14. Director and cast information is from IMDb. 

Click here for a ranking of this summer’s biggest hit movies

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the No. 1 hit this summer is “Barbie,” or that Vin Diesel, Spider-Man, and “Oppenheimer” come close behind. And they’re not the only blockbusters here. Some 13 of the 25 films on our list have brought in more than $100 million.

But more modest efforts have found a place on this list as well, including the autobiographical culture-clash comedy “About My Father,” starring Robert De Niro, and Wes Anderson’s typically quirky, indefinable “Asteroid City.” There’s room for everything on summer screens.

Source: Courtesy of A24

25. Past Lives (2023)
> Global box office: $10.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (7,500 votes)
> Directed by: Celine Song
> Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro

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Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

24. The Machine (2023)
> Global box office: $10.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.9/10 (8,764 votes)
> Directed by: Peter Atencio
> Starring: Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamill, Jimmy Tatro

Source: Araya Doheny / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

23. Joy Ride (2023)
> Global box office: $15.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (11,000 votes)
> Directed by: Adele Lim
> Starring: Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu

Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

22. About My Father (2023)
> Global box office: $17.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.7/10 (6,629 votes)
> Directed by: Laura Terruso
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Leslie Bibb

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Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

21. The Blackening (2023)
> Global box office: $17.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.0/10 (9,247 votes)
> Directed by: Tim Story
> Starring: Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg

Source: Courtesy of Focus Features

20. Book Club: The Next Chapter (2023)
> Global box office: $28.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.6/10 (3,958 votes)
> Directed by: Bill Holderman
> Starring: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen

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Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

19. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023)
> Global box office: $41.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.7/10 (5,246 votes)
> Directed by: Kirk DeMicco, Faryn Pearl
> Starring: Jane Fonda, Lana Condor, Toni Collette

Source: Courtesy of Focus Features

18. Asteroid City (2023)
> Global box office: $48.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (59,390 votes)
> Directed by: Wes Anderson
> Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks

Source: Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

17. Haunted Mansion (2023)
> Global box office: $75.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.3/10 (9,132 votes)
> Directed by: Justin Simien
> Starring: LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson

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Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

16. The Boogeyman (2023)
> Global box office: $82.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (11,666 votes)
> Directed by: Rob Savage
> Starring: Sophie Thatcher, Chris Messina, Vivien Lyra Blair

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

15. No Hard Feelings (2023)
> Global box office: $83.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (37,847 votes)
> Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky
> Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)
> Global box office: $94.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (14,353 votes)
> Directed by: Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears
> Starring: Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu

Source: Courtesy of Angel Studios

13. Sound of Freedom (2023)
> Global box office: $172.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (46,985 votes)
> Directed by: Alejandro Monteverde
> Starring: Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Bill Camp

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

12. Insidious: The Red Door (2023)
> Global box office: $185.7 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.6/10 (27,346 votes)
> Directed by: Patrick Wilson
> Starring: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne

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Source: Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

11. Meg 2: The Trench (2023)
> Global box office: $258.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.5/10 (14,691 votes)
> Directed by: Ben Wheatley
> Starring: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Shuya Sophia Cai

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

10. The Flash (2023)
> Global box office: $268.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (138,343 votes)
> Directed by: Andy Muschietti
> Starring: Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle

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Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

9. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)
> Global box office: $370.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (93,079 votes)
> Directed by: James Mangold
> Starring: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

8. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023)
> Global box office: $436.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (70,846 votes)
> Directed by: Steven Caple Jr.
> Starring: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Vélez

Source: Kimberly White / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

7. Elemental (2023)
> Global box office: $443.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (31,269 votes)
> Directed by: Peter Sohn
> Starring: Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie Del Carmen

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

6. Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
> Global box office: $522.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (124,672 votes)
> Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
> Starring: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

5. The Little Mermaid (2023)
> Global box office: $562.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (109,002 votes)
> Directed by: Rob Marshall
> Starring: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

4. Oppenheimer (2023)
> Global box office: $648.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10 (345,753 votes)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)
> Global box office: $683.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.8/10 (221,691 votes)
> Directed by: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
> Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

2. Fast X (2023)
> Global box office: $719.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.8/10 (87,132 votes)
> Directed by: Louis Leterrier
> Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham

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Source: James Gourley / Getty Images

1. Barbie (2023)
> Global box office: $1.2 billion
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (229,469 votes)
> Directed by: Greta Gerwig
> Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae

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