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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

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