Movies have been a defining part of the summer experience for several decades now, with the modern summer blockbuster pioneered by Steven Spielberg in 1975. With his seminal summer horror film Jaws, Spielberg changed the filmmaking landscape. Though prosperous, Hollywood had still been in something of a transitional period following the studio system and Hollywood's Golden Age. But after Jaws and the introduction of the “movie brats,” a core group of emerging American directors including Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, and Francis Ford Coppola, the American film industry entered an exciting era defined by ambition, creativity, and soaring box office sales.

Summer is an exciting time in Hollywood, when big-budget movies with wide appeal are often released. It means school's out, and viewers can frequent the theater chains in droves. This summer is an especially critical one for the movie industry. Covid-19 is no longer a global emergency. Now's the time for these planned blockbuster movies to show their mettle. If revenues clear $4 billion in domestic box offices, Hollywood can officially claim a return to a pre-pandemic normal.

What Ruled the Box Office When You Graduated

Do you remember the film that defined the last summer of your high school years? Stacker compiled Box Office Mojo data on summer movies dating back to 1975 and listed the #1 film at the box office for each summer, defined as the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend. Check out our list to see which iconic film took over the box office the summer you graduated.

LOOK: The #1 Summer Movie the Year You Graduated High School

Stacker compiled Box Office Mojo data on summer movies dating back to 1975 and listed the #1 film at the box office each summer.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

READ MORE: The 25 Highest-Grossing Movies in History

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