The Science of Summer Blockbusters

By: Georgia Schumacher Filed under: Animation & Effects

June 30, 2015

Behind the Hits that Make Summer the Biggest Movie Season of the Year

Summer has only just officially begun and some of the biggest blockbusters of the season are already making history with record-breaking ticket sales. Jurassic World topped the charts with an opening weekend U.S. debut of $208.8 million and Disney Pixar’s Inside Out scored a $91 million opening weekend record, making it the largest domestic debut in history for an original film.

Other highly anticipated films like Ted 2, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Terminator: Genisys have yet to be released — but the bar for success has been set pretty high. In 2014, domestic box office ticket revenue reached approximately $1 billion per month in May, June, July, and August.

Recipe for a Summer Hit

A summer blockbuster offers larger-than-life entertainment. For example, since 2010, one in three summer hits have been based on a comic book. The trend continues this year, with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and the Fantastic Four.

More than just your average movie, these films are designed to have a major impact on audiences. Most of the biggest summer blockbusters are carefully crafted with a proven formula—special effects, a thrilling plotline, and a hero who saves the day. Generally speaking, people want to see something in their summer movies they would never witness in their everyday lives.

When they’re not focused on special effects, summertime movies are also about feeling good (and thus the typical happy ending of most films). It’s a time of year when the sun’s out, people are relaxed, and they’re looking for a story with the comfort of the familiar. Factors such as popular actors and directors, well-known superheroes or science fiction characters, sequels, and remakes draw movie-goers en masse.

What Boosts Summer Movie Releases

Curious why the films that hit theaters during the summer months often turn out to be big hits? As you probably guessed, it’s more than coincidence; studios know exactly what they’re doing.

Larger Audiences: When school’s out for the summer, students and educators need have more spare time to fill. When people are free during both the day and night, they head to the movies to catch the latest film that everyone is talking about.

Affordable Family Time: As of 2014, the average movie ticket price was $8.14, meaning a family of four could see a show for approximately $33. In comparison, a one-day admission ticket to Six Flags Magic Mountain starts at $47.99 and the cost of an average restaurant meal is $12.75 per person.

Repeat Viewers: People are expected to see the biggest hits of the year more than once in theaters. While this may not be possible during other months, due to school and other scheduling commitments, fans in general have more free time during the summer.

The Season of Fun: Summertime is the season for easy living, when people want to kick back and relax. For many, seeing a movie is the ultimate way to do so. Plus, with summer months often the warmest of the year, the promise of spending a couple of hours in an air-conditioned theater certainly can’t hurt matters!

Learn more about our programs.

Get Brochure

By: Georgia Schumacher Filed under: Animation & Effects

June 30, 2015

animation production comic book design film and tv media arts trends