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Biggest summer blockbusters from the past 40 years

On June 20, the night before the summer of 1975 began, "Jaws" chomped through movie screens around the world, giving theatergoers a frightening adventure that would soon become a cultural phenomenon. Thus, the summer blockbuster was born.

Here are many of the notable summer blockbusters that followed, in order of release date.

All box office grosses per boxofficemojo.com.

Grease: June 1, 1978

All of the actors in
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

All of the actors in "Grease" -- including Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta -- were well past high school age, but that didn't stop the summer romance classic from becoming the highest-grossing film of 1978.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: June 1, 1981

The first in the Indiana Jones series,
Photo Credit: LucasFilms

The first in the Indiana Jones series, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," directed by Steven Spielberg, has grossed more than $248 million to date.

Ghostbusters: June 8, 1984

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

"If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!" The catchy theme song by Ray Parker Jr. was No. 1 on Billboard's singles chart for three weeks.

Batman Forever: June 9, 1995

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Studios.

"Batman Forever," directed by Joel Schumacher, was the sixth-highest-grossing film worldwide of 1995. Pictured is Val Kilmer in the batsuit.

ET: The Extra-Terrestrial: June 11, 1982

Steven Spielberg's
Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Steven Spielberg's "ET: The Extra Terrestrial" was the highest-grossing film of all time -- until the director broke his own record with "Jurassic Park" in 1993.

Jurassic Park: June 11, 1993

Steven Spielberg's sci-fi horror film
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg's sci-fi horror film "Jurassic Park" was the highest-grossing movie of all time only until James Cameron's "Titanic" came out four years later.

The Lion King: June 15, 1994

Disney's
Photo Credit: Disney

Disney's "The Lion King" was the highest-grossing film of 1994 worldwide, with a box office total of $312.9 million that year in the U.S. alone. It remains the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Toy Story 3: June 18, 2010

Photo Credit: MCT

"Toy Story 3" was the highest-grossing film of 2010 ($415 million), and holds the record for the first animated film to produce $1 billion in ticket sales.

Batman Returns: June 19, 1992

Michelle Pfeiffer crawled into the vinyl catsuit for
Photo Credit: IMDB

Michelle Pfeiffer crawled into the vinyl catsuit for "Batman Returns," which has pulled in nearly $163 million to date.

Jaws: June 20, 1975

Photo Credit: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

"Duuun dun duuun dun." Composer John Williams' minimalistic theme to portray giant man-eating great white shark "Jaws" certainly scared people out of the water in 1975. The first modern-day blockbuster, "Jaws" celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: June 22, 1988

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Co.

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" garnered more than $11 million at the box office its opening weekend. The highest-grossing movie of 1988, "Rain Man," got just $7 million its first weekend.

Batman: June 23, 1989

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

"Batman," starring Michael Keaton, was the highest-grossing film based on a DC comic book until "The Dark Knight" was released in 2008.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: June 24, 2009

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" was the second-highest-grossing film of 2009, in the U.S. ($402.1 million domestic), only behind "Avatar."

Independence Day: June 25, 1996

The Will Smith-driven
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox / Claudette Barius

The Will Smith-driven "Independence Day," about an alien invasion, scared up $306 million at the box office to date. Look for a second "I.D." film in 2016.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: June 29, 2011

Sci-fi action flick
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Sci-fi action flick "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011) is currently the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, worldwide.

Spider-Man 2: June 30, 2004

Along came a Spidey, played for a second
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures / John Bramley

Along came a Spidey, played for a second time by Tobey Maguire, in 2004's "Spider-Man 2." Some of the movie's biggest action scenes were filmed right in Bethpage.

Men in Black: July 2, 1997

The 1997 film
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures / Melinda Sue Gordon

The 1997 film "Men in Black" was a smash hit at the box office, grossing over $589 million worldwide.

Back to the Future: July 3, 1985

"Back to the Future" was the highest-grossing film of 1985 ($210.6 million domestic). The film's script was rejected over 40 times, co-creator Bob Gale told CNN in 2010.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day: July 3, 1991

"Terminator 2" was the most expensive film ever made in 1991, with a budget of about $102 million.

Despicable Me 2: July 3, 2013

Photo Credit: IMDB

"Despicable Me 2" is Universal Films' most profitable movie ever, grossing more than $970 million worldwide.

Transformers: July 3, 2007

The first installment of the

The first installment of the "Transformers" live-action film series -- which debuted Fourth of July weekend 2007 -- grossed more than $709 million worldwide.

Forrest Gump: July 6, 1994

It's been more than 20 years since
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Phillip Caruso

It's been more than 20 years since "Forrest Gump" (Tom Hanks) sat on that bench in Savannah, Georgia, but his lines, including, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get," are still quoted.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: July 7, 2006

Photo Credit: IMDB

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is the 14th-highest-grossing film of all time. When it premiered in 2006, it was the only movie ever to gross more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Ghost: July 13, 1990

Since its 1990 release,
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Since its 1990 release, "Ghost" -- with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze as lovers living in different dimensions -- has dropped down the box office ranks to its current spot as the 91st-highest-grossing film of all time.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: July 15, 2011

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" (the final film in the series) remains the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, and only the ninth film ever to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: July 16, 2005

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" -- the sixth installment in the series -- was the second highest-grossing film of 2009, worldwide, behind the highest grossing film of all time, "Avatar."

The Dark Knight: July 18, 2008

Christopher Nolan's

Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" was the top-grossing movie of 2008, earning more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Heath Ledger posthumously won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in his role as The Joker.

The Dark Knight Rises: July 20, 2012

Christopher Nolan's third Batman film,
Photo Credit: MCT

Christopher Nolan's third Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

Saving Private Ryan: July 24, 1998

Steven Spielberg's
Photo Credit: Dreamworks

Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," released in1998, was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2014.

The Amityville Horror: July 27, 1979

This blockbuster is based on the supernatural experiences
Photo Credit: MGM PIctures

This blockbuster is based on the supernatural experiences the Lutz family encountered after buying the horror house on 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville just a year after Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his six family members. Spooooooky.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Aug. 1, 2014

Marvel's
Photo Credit: Marvel

Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" was the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014. A sequel is scheduled for release on May 5, 2017.

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