Another summer movie season is about to end, but should it go into the books as one of the best blockbuster runs ever? You be the judge: Check out these summers at the movies that are forever all-timers.
16. Summer 1998
15. Summer 1997
Key Movies: "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," "Con Air," and "Face/Off." In retrospect, Summer of 1997's hits don't quite hold up in the quality department. But this summer's slate of gratuitous action movies is hard to forget, thanks to face-off surgery and Nic Cage's "Con Air" mullet.
14. Summer 2011
Key Movies: "X-Men: First Class," "Bridesmaids," "Captain America: The First Avenger," and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." R-rated comedies got a welcomed shot in the arm, thanks to "Bridesmaids," leading to an increased output of developing similar films with female casts that continues to this day. We also saw the out-of-nowhere rebirth of the "Apes" franchise, which few predicted would become such a financial (and critical) hit.
13. Summer 2009
Key Movies: "Star Trek" and "Up." Kirk and the Enterprise crew got a big-budget upgrade in this reboot, which caught the attention and enthusiasm of Trekkers and average audiences alike. This film has crazy repeat viewing value, even though J.J. Abrams made "Trek" feel a lot like the sci-fi franchise he really loved -- Star Wars.
12. Summer 1999
Key Movies: "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Blair Witch Project," "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," and "American Pie." For high school grads at this time, there was no better way to wait out their freshman year of college than by revisiting that galaxy far, far away, or paying to see Jason Biggs hump a pie. Sure, we have tempered our feelings on "Phantom Menace" since May 1999, but that was one of the last movies in recent memory where audiences turned buying tickets -- and waiting in line to do so! -- into an event.
11. Summer 1995
Key Movies: "Batman Forever," "Apollo 13," "Braveheart," "Die Hard With a Vengeance," "Clueless," and "Crimson Tide." 'Nuff said. Actually, real quick: For the second year in a row, the summer movie season gave Paramount another Best Picture winner, with Mel Gibson's epic about William "Freeeeeedom!" Wallace. Oh, and we know the movie sucks now, but everyone was nuts for "Batman Forever" back in the day. We blame Seal's "Kiss From a Rose."
10. Summer 2002
Key Movies: "Spider-Man," "Attack of the Clones," "The Bourne Identity," "Signs," and "Road to Perdition." A solid mix of adult-minded fare and popcorn entertainment, the summer of 2002 finally gave us Spidey's first live-action adventure and a then-record $100 million opening weekend. That box office milestone would be eclipsed in subsequent years, but it made Hollywood double-down on scoring huge weekends and bragging rights. Oh, and no one was expecting Jason Bourne to become a genre-redefining franchise, but 15 years later, here we are.
9. Summer 2012
Key Movies: "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises." Summer 2012 kicked off with the culmination of Marvel's Phase One, a May blockbuster that played well into August and September -- much like films used to back in the '90s and early aughts. "Avengers" made every studio in town envious, and sent them on a mission to combine their IP into a shared universe as quickly as possible -- despite having failed to earn it from audiences the way Marvel did by building up to one hell of a entertaining payoff.
8. Summer 1975
Key Movies: "Jaws." The first modern blockbuster ever came out in '75, and audiences have spent the last 42 years on #TeamDryLand because of it.
7. Summer 2008
Key Movies: "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man." To quote Joker: "You've changed things. Forever." 2008 sparked our current glut of comic book movies, as Nolan's second Batman film and the MCU's first ushered in a new (and lucrative) way of doing business.
6. Summer 1993
Key Movies: "Jurassic Park," "The Firm," and "The Fugitive." 1993 kicked off the '90s trend of filling our eyeballs with years-worth of solid (and very nostalgic-worthy) pieces of entertainment. Who can forget our first trip to Crazy Dinosaur Island? Or "I didn't kill my wife!" This summer was a near-perfect mix of escapist fare and the type of adult-minded entertainment they don't make as well anymore.
5. Summer 1994
Key Movies: "Speed," "The Lion King," "Forrest Gump," "True Lies," and "The Mask." If you were a teen during the summer of Simba, then chances are good that all of your allowance money went to seeing many of the aforementioned films. Like 1989 before it, this summer's slate boasted an unforgettable line-up of hits -- including one Best Picture winner.
4. Summer 1996
Key Movies: "Twister," "Mission: Impossible," "The Rock," and "ID4." Summer kicked off with "We got cows"-level tornados and Ethan Hunt, which lead to the instantly-iconic (and now-cliched) disaster movie stylings of Will Smith's first summer blockbuster. Like "Batman '89" before it, "ID4" changed the way we market movies by turning teaser trailers into mini-events -- thanks to money shots like this that sear themselves into your brains and into pop-culture.
3. Summer 1989
Key Movies: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Batman." To call this summer a big deal would be an understatement. The Dark Knight's first live-action blockbuster would change the way we market and make movies, as did this year's roster of hits. This season arguably shaped the future of summer movie going, with Hollywood piling on one must-see installment or event film after the other. This summer was so big, that not even the fifth Star Trek movie or James Bond ("License to Kill") could make a dent.
2. Summer 1977
Key Movies: "Star Wars." Um, if you need convinced that Summer of 1977 was a big deal, then you're some kind of wrong person.
1. Summer 1982
Key Movies: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "Blade Runner," "E.T.," and "The Thing." Holy sh**, this line-up... So many now-iconic classics came out in the same summer, some very close to each other on the release date calendar. That would never happen today, but 1982 is a landmark year for movie fans.