Kicking off the Summer Movie Season

Kicking off the Summer Movie Season

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With Memorial Day in the books, and July 4th just around the corner, another summer movie season is officially upon us.  You know those movies that you’ve been seeing teaser trailers for since 2001?  Odds are they’re a summer release, so now that they’re finally here, get ready to fight the crowds (and the heat) to see them on opening weekend.

At armovieguys, we love movies all the time, and summer is no exception, so over the next several weeks we’ll be bringing you everything you wanted to know about getting the most out of summer movie season.  To get started, we’ll be discussing each of the 10 biggest summer movie releases of all time (based on adjusted Box Office Gross).  These are the movies that set the standard, so before you add The Zookeeper to the summer movie hall of fame, let’s make sure you know what it’s up against.

* While we don’t have a special section dedicated to the ending of each movie or anything, it should go without saying that if you haven’t seen any of these movies, there’s some possible spoilers headed your direction.  Then again, considering that the newest movie on the list came out in 1999,  if you haven’t seen any of these movies, you probably aren’t a huge fan of movies, and probably aren’t reading a blog about movies.  So I suppose this really addresses no one.  Carry on then…

We’ll be looking at each of the movies from a variety of angles.  They are:

Wow Factor: What is about this movie that got butts in the seats?  Was it a sequel to a smash hit?  Did it have an action sequence that people couldn’t stop talking about?  Did it have groundbreaking special effects?  Was Will Smith in it?  We’ll examine what it was that made each movie special (and presumably pushed it into the Top 10).

Re-Watchability:  Given the dollar amounts we’re talking here, it’s a safe bet that people were seeing the movie more than once.  Considering the cost of movies these days (I’m looking right at you, Century City AMC), going to see a movie a second time is a bold statement.  Before you head to theater for a second go-round, you usually do a quick replay of the movie in your head to make sure there’s enough stuff worth getting excited about seeing a second time.  The summer movies that pass this test usually fall into one of these categories:

a) Comedy: You were laughing so hard you feel like you missed several jokes, and want to catch them the second time around.

b) Comic Book Movie: Fanboys might attend 5 or 6 showings on opening weekend, just to have bragging rights over the guy on the message board who only saw it 3 times.

c) Event Movie (or James Cameron Movie): The spectacle of a movie is so big, that you have to experience it on the big screen more than once.

d) Romantic Comedy: Because hopefully this girl will like it as much as the last 3 did. (Kidding)

Does the movie fall into one of these categories?  Is there another reason people kept coming back?

Improvement:  What (if anything) could be improved?  Does the movie start to drag?  Is there something that just never made sense?  Considering these are 10 of the biggest movies of all time, finding areas for improvement seems a bit nitpicky, but because we’re so dedicated we’ll give it a shot.

Lesson Learned: What lesson can aspiring summer blockbusters take from the movie?  What did it do better than anyone else, that other summer movies would do well to emulate?  Just think, if M. Night Shamalyan had watched Jurassic Park BEFORE he wrote Lady in the Water he would have realized that movies needed to make sense…and have a point.

armovieguys score: Similar to the Nic D movie scale, but better…and more accurate…and realistic.  It’s also out of 10, not 5.

We’ll be counting down the top summer movies from 10 to 1, then following up with some movies that didn’t make the cut (but were still great summer entertainment).  First up in the gauntlet will be #10 – The Lion King.  See you then!


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