This Week in Box Office History: July 4 – 11

will smith and tom hanks

This Week in Box Office History takes a look into the past 30 years of Box Office winners to figure out what the heck we like to watch.  Hoping to see a change in the summer blockbuster trends?  You better find a bunker and some popcorn, cause this weekend is about to be blowed up!


“This.  Lots of this.”

July 4 – 11:  The Trends.

This week saves me a lot of parsing:  Stuff gets exploded, preferably in a sequel.  A few comedies hang on, but this weekend seems to be the definition of the summer popcorn flick.  And in case you were worried, Big Willy proves me wrong and takes home all of the money.


“All of it.”

Attack of the Clones.

This week is straight out dominated by big action sequels.  14 out of 31 number one films on the list are sequels, going all the way back to 1983 with Return of the Jedi.  Treating just the movies with a “2” in the name, we have Karate Kid 2 (1986,) Lethal Weapon 2 (1989,) Die Hard 2 (1990,) Terminator 2 (1991,) Men in Black 2 (2002,)  Spider Man 2 (2004,)  Transformers 2 (2009,) and this years winner, Despicable Me 2 (2013.)  Going for max cash are the Transformers (all three movies made it to number one this weekend…shudder,) and the Terminator series.  Even the Her-minator managed a number one showing this weekend.  Audiences were so crazed for sequels they even made Apollo 13 number one at the Box.  I mean, who even saw the first 12?


“Actually, it’s not a…oh never mind.”

Will Smith.

Last week I scoffed at the supposed Box Office power of Will Smith.  Apparently other studios have learned to get their movies out in advance of the full July 4th weekend, cause this one man wrecking crew took no prisoners.  Starting in 1996 with Independence Day, Will took 4 number one’s, including Men In Black (1997) and its sequel (2004,) Hancock in 2008, and even Wild Wild West in 1999.  Wild Wild West, people.wild-wild-west-560

“Pictured:  what people attempting to leave the theaters

for Wild Wild West saw at the exits.”

Tom Hanks?

Could anyone stop the Fresh Prince juggernaut?   Apparently Hollywood found the answer in Tom Hanks, who totted up an impressive three number ones with very different movies.  First came Dragnet, a comedy, next was Forrest Gump, a drama/comedy (dramedy for the those who prefer to have all their words smooshed together for convenience,) and finally Apollo 13, a straight drama.  Three top movies on the 4th, and the only things that get blown up are an oxygen recycler and poor old Lieutenant Dan.

lt dan

“Not funny.”

Notable Movies

With so much of the list taken by action movies and their sequels, not a ton of outliers this week.  A Twilight movie snuck in (Eclipse) but an argument could be made that its the most action oriented installment of a series starring a dead boy and a comatose girl.  Zing!  The top movies in the 80’s are all not budging, with E.T. and Ghostbusters seemingly locked into the top spots.  See if the trend continues next edition!

Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission

About Neil Worcester 1289 Articles
Neil Worcester is currently a freelance writer and editor based in the Portland, Maine area. He has developed a variety of content for blogs and businesses, and his current focus is on media and food blogging. Follow him on Facebook and Google+!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.