Coming Soon to a Quiz Near You: Summer Blockbusters

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Who needs swimming pools and water parks when you can cool off in a movie theater with the latest summer blockbuster film? Grab a bucket of popcorn, then settle in for 20 questions about the biggest summer blockbusters to ever grace the screen.

What day do most summer blockbuster movies premiere?

The summer blockbuster movie phenomena comes from the movie studios’ marketing plan to release big-budget action-packed movies on July 4th and rake in cash all summer long. Not all movies are released on July 4th, but any top-grossing film released in the summer months is typically referred to as a summer blockbuster.


Which 1981 summer blockbuster centers around a daring archeologist who has to battle a dangerous band of Nazis to recover an ancient relic?

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" premiered June 12, 1981, and brought in $8,305,823 during the opening weekend. Indiana Jones did recover The Ark of the Covenant and went on to be the star of three more films in the series.


What percentage of the film industry’s gross income comes from the 18 weeks when summer blockbusters are in theaters?

According to the president of the box office division of, summertime movies make a big impact on return and bring in about 40 percent of all movies’ gross income.


Which action-packed movie was officially the first summer blockbuster?

Steven Spielberg’s "Jaws" opened on June 20, 1975, and brought in more than $7 million at the box office. This man-eating shark movie whet the movie studios’ appetite for more big-budget summer smashes in the future.


In 1976, another thriller became a devilish summer blockbuster. Which movie was it?

"The Omen" brought Damien to the screen on June 25, 1976, and scared the bejesus out of summer moviegoers. "The Shining" didn’t come out until 1980, and "The Exorcist" was a holiday hit, premiering December 26, 1973. Happy Creepy Christmas!


What year did "Star Wars" make the Princess Leia bun a popular summer hairstyle?

The original "Star Wars: A New Hope" movie premiered in 1977 and grossed $1,554,475 its opening weekend. George Lucas continued to produce summer blockbusters with "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980 and "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. The Force was definitely with him.


"Grease" was among the list of blockbuster hits during the summer of 1978. What was the name the gang that Danny Zuko was the leader of?

Danny was the head of the T-Birds, and he dated super sweet Sandra Dee of the Pink Ladies. This '50s-themed flick was completely campy and cheered on an $8,941,717 million gross at the box office on opening weekend.


Name the boxing blockbuster of 1979 that pitted a tough fighter in a rematch with his nemesis.

The Italian Stallion is back! The summer of ’79 was highlighted by the return of beloved Rocky Balboa in "Rocky II.” He took on Apollo Creed once again and walked away with the No. 1 box office ranking on opening weekend -- June 15, 1979.


Which of these candies was made popular by a summer blockbuster movie?

"E.T" ushered in the era of Reese’s Pieces, through a brilliant product placement strategy. Now, kids across the world know how to lure aliens into being their BFFs.


Speaking of product placement, which product spokesman appeared in the 1984 summer hit "Ghostbusters"?

Those quirky ghost-busting scientists took down the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and left NYC with a gooey mess to clean up.


When Marty McFly went "Back to the Future" in the summer of 1985, what year did he travel to?

With the help of Doc Brown and his time-traveling DeLorean, Marty goes back to 1955, where he messes up and then fixes his parents’ romance -- just in the nick of time.


Bruce Willis accepted the role of John McClane in "Die Hard" after which actor turned it down?

Gere, Johnson and many other leading men of the decade were considered for the role, but DeNiro was offered the part and turned it down so Willis could step in. Yippie-Ki-Yay.


What character did Tom Cruise play in "Top Gun"?

Tom’s character Maverick was indeed a daredevil, and his daring relationship with his sexy flight school instructor was often more dangerous than his high-flying hijinks. It was all worth the risk, because "Top Gun" brought in $176.8 million.


What ground-breaking flick was the first movie where Walt Disney and Warner Brothers characters interacted together?

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is one of the first films that featured humans performing alongside animated characters, and it was the first time Walt Disney and Warner Brothers characters starred in the same movie. Another interesting note about the 1988 movie’s title -- it doesn’t have a question mark at the end because that is considered back luck in Hollywood.


Summer blockbusters are typically explosive action films or funny animated flicks, but occasionally, a heart-felt drama takes the box office draw. Which of these dramas was the No. 1 summer movie in 1994?

Blockbusters are like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you’re going to get. But in the summer of 1994 we got "Forrest Gump," which made for unforgettable memories and gross ticket sales of more than $329 million. Run, Forrest, run.


You can always count on Batman. To top the summer blockbuster charts, that is. Which "Top Gun" star also appeared in "Batman Forever"?

Val Kilmer played Iceman in the 1986 summer hit "Top Gun" and then went on to make another summer smash in his role as Batman in "Batman Forever," which premiered June 16, 1995. Hands down, Val Kilmer is the man.


Speaking of blockbusting actors, Will Smith has appeared in several summer hits that involve kicking some alien butt. Which film was the star of summer in 1997?

"Independence Day" was a hit in 1996 and "I, Robot" came out much later, in 2004. So that leaves us with "Men in Black" being the big winner of summer 1997. This movie was such a hit with fans that MIB sequels continue to dominate the box office during summer blockbuster season.


Pixar has a knack for creating blockbuster hits, such as "Finding Nemo" in 2003. Often, they debut their characters with cameos in other films. Where was Nemo’s first appearance?

Nemo's fans got their first glimpse of him in "Monsters, Inc." -- he was a stuffed toy on a couch in Boo’s room.


While filming "Spider-Man" in 2002, Tobey Maguire’s costume had to be altered so that he could do which activity?

A summer blockbuster star deserves top-notch treatment, so it was urgent that Tobey’s costume be reconfigured so he could use the bathroom. A small vent was added to the Spider-Man suit so he could get some relief without removing the entire outfit.


In 2011, the No. 1 summer blockbuster featured the tag line "It all ends.” What movie was this?

All of these films ranked high that summer, but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" took home the top spot, grossing $381 million. When it comes to summer blockbusters, it all ends at the bank.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!