INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1996, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Photograph by 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection
By Tom Huddleston Jr.
July 1, 2016

Fourth of July weekend has historically served as a showcase for some of the movie industry’s biggest blockbusters, when Hollywood looks to tempt Americans away from the beach and their grills to spend part of their holiday weekend in a movie theater.

But, in terms of overall box-office gross, the weekend saw below-average totals the past two years, thanks to disappointing lineups of new releases.

Of course, holiday weekend box office totals are only as good as the new releases debuting in movie theaters across the country. This weekend could bring another tepid box office performance in domestic theaters, as even the biggest new releases—Walt Disney’s The BFG and Warner Bros.’ The Legend of Tarzan—are lacking serious buzz, which could pave the way for Finding Dory to swim past the competition for a third-straight weekend box office crown.

If this holiday weekend’s slate of films doesn’t inspire you to make the trek to a movie theater, then consider revisiting some past movies that fared well over Fourth of July weekend. Here are the seven highest-grossing domestic opening weekends around Independence Day going back to 1982.

Note: Box office totals are according to Box Office Mojo and figures are adjusted for ticket-price inflation.


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