For decades, every summer brings a glut of fun and spectacular films to help us celebrate the carefree days of the hot season. Since the 1980s film studios realized the killing they made at the box office, sometimes for the entire year, with their big-budget, talked-about blockbusters.
Some summer movies of some years are more memorable than others since those years brought us unforgettable classics or pure guilty pleasures that hold up to this day.
Of course, we’re only halfway through this summer season, but if the buzz holds true then with this month’s upcoming trifecta of Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, this year may become one of the great summer seasons. We’ll find out soon! 😀
Anyway, these are the best summer movie seasons so far. Bear in mind that some seasons on the list may not have great films but they sure are guilty pleasures for some fans or were big hits at the time. Needless to say, the emphasis here is on genre flicks, so films like Top Gun or the Mission: Impossible films won’t be mentioned.
10. Summer of 1990: Arachnophobia; Back to the Future, Part III; Darkman; Dick Tracy; Flatliners; Ghost; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Total Recall; The Witches
9. Summer of 1987: The Believers; Harry and the Hendersons; InnerSpace; The Living Daylights; The Monster Squad; Predator; Robocop; Spaceballs; The Witches of Eastwick
8. Summer of 2004: Alien vs. Predator; The Chronicles of Riddick; The Day After Tomorrow; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; I, Robot; Open Water; Shrek 2; Spider-Man 2; The Village
7. Summer of 1985: Back to the Future; The Black Cauldron; Cocoon; Day of the Dead; Explorers; Fright Night; The Goonies; Lifeforce; Return of the Living Dead; Return to Oz
6. Summer of 1999: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; The Blair Witch Project; Deep Blue Sea; The Iron Giant; Mystery Men; The Mummy; The Sixth Sense; Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace; Tarzan; The Thirteenth Floor
5. Summer of 2011: Captain America: The First Avenger; Green Lantern; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II; Kung Fu Panda 2; Melacholia; Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Super 8; Thor; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; X-Men: First Class
4. Summer of 1984: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Conan the Destroyer; Firestarter; Ghostbusters; Gremlins; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; The Last Starfighter; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Streets of Fire
3. Summer of 2014: This summer had many modern classics and even a few notable stinkers/popular-but-dumb hits like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Other films released that summer were exceptional. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Edge of Tomorrow; Godzilla; Guardians of the Galaxy; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Lucy; The Purge: Anarchy; X-Men: Days of Future Past
2. Summer of 2008: The summer that brought us a transcendent super hero film and the debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plus, some wonderful and thrilling eye candy! It was a pivotal summer season since its influence is still felt today. The Dark Knight; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Iron Man; Kung Fu Panda; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Hancock; The Incredible Hulk; Speed Racer; Star Wars: The Clone Wars; WALL-E; Wanted
1. Summer of 1982: With masterpieces of genre films that still resonate today, how could this famous year not be the number one summer movie season of all time? If you haven’t seen any of these bonafide classics then what are you waiting for? Blade Runner; Conan the Barbarian; E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial; Firefox; Poltergeist; The Road Warrior; The Secret of NIMH; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; The Thing; Tron
How would you rate these summer movie seasons? Are there other years that are worth mentioning? Let us know!
Ah, 1982…the year I was born and when a number of my all-time favourites were released, most significantly Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan!
I was around during that time and remember being so excited that summer. There were so many movies, I couldn’t see them all and had to wait for home media, plus I was too young to be allowed to see a few of them! 😀
1982 was a game-changer!
The modern summer season started earlier in 1981 but 1982 was when film studios took full advantage of the season to our delight.
I think the top 3 selections here are just about spot on, a great mix of films, and when it comes to blockbuster summers the films in 1982 are easily some of the all time best! The Thing, Star Trek II, Blade Runner, some of my all time favourites 🙂
Trying to decide between 2 and 3 was tough but in the end I felt 2008 was had more of an impact with the dawn of the modern age of super hero films and the MCU.
Totally agree, its a tough one to call, but 2008 certainly had the edge.
Oh man, the summer of ’82 was stacked with so many great films. Blade Runner and Tron are two of my favorite films ever, I couldn’t imagine seeing them both in the same summer these days :O
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Awesome list, mate. Gotta say ’82 was a vintage year, even if I was -19 years old back then. But ’84 holds a special place ‘cus it gave us Ghostbusters, which is, like, the best film evaaaaaa. At this point, I’d usually shoehorn some kind of dumb plug with slight relevance to your piece, but I can’t really think of one right now. But check us out anyway! We cover some stuff you might be interested in:
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