News In Brief

The top grossing summer films of all time

Millie Jefferson May 30, 2011

The summer movie that started it all actually made people scared to do one very summery activity: go to the beach. The 1975 thriller “Jaws” set the bar for summer releases — and now studios count on them to bring in a majority of the years’ earnings. Will this year’s summer blockbusters make it to the list? Check out our interview with Claude Brodesser-Akner, West Coast editor for “Vulture,” New York Magazine’s online entertainment site, to see why he says this year’s blockbusters are different and how “The Matrix” was a game changer.

Here are the top 10 summer movies of all time (adjusted for inflation) according to

  1. Star Wars (1977) – $1,289,662,081

  2. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) – $1,062,887,574

  3. Jaws (1975) – $974,679,803

  4. Empire Strikes Back (1980) – $768,957,136

  5. Return of the Jedi (1983) – $709,474,258

  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – $659,021,792

  7. Jurassic Park (1993) – $656,349,535

  8. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999) – $645,783,843

  9. Forrest Gump (1994) – $601,672,695

  10. The Lion King (1994) – $599,564,900

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.