The summer 2013 box office tallies have been counted, and Iron Man 3 is the season’s box office champ. Heck, Robert Downey, Jr.’s fourth time in the Iron Man suit is the highest grossing movie of the year so far!
But, when it comes to the “best” summer blockbusters, our top 10 might look a little different. Movie Fanatic has seen dozens of films in the last several months, and now we reveal -- of those top grossing movies -- which were the Top 10 Best Blockbusters of Summer.
10. World War Z
Yes, it is wildly different than the best-selling book that it shares a title with. Brad Pitt stars and produced the zombie movie that was unlike any undead movie we've ever seen. And that was evident from the first World War Z trailer.
Its success and subsequent box office success speaks volumes as to Pitt's keen insight into storytelling. World War Z banking so much virtually guarantees we will get more -- and let's hope so for Matthew Fox's sake as his role is greatly expanded in the book.
9. We’re the Millers
Although we’d watch Jason Sudeikis in almost anything, it was such an unexpected treat to see his comic chemistry with Jennifer Aniston in We’re the Millers. The elements of a blockbuster comedy were there from the We’re the Millers red band trailer, but it was an honest surprise to see the hysterical flick top $100 million at the box office. Sudeikis and Aniston could wind up being the male-female comic dream team of the future.
8. The Heat
Speaking of dynamic duos, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy made movie magic with their cop comedy The Heat. Bullock was the by-the-book FBI agent and McCarthy was the of-the-streets Boston cop and together they made film fireworks happen, rocking their way to blockbuster status. Whether or not a sequel is in the works, we shall see. But there was something about these two talented actresses in these two roles that was pure gold.
7. Fast and Furious 6
With Fast Five being a surprise hit and unexpected critically praised film, the expectations were high for Fast and Furious 6. Producers and filmmakers made two enormously wise moves that made it work.
The first had the introduced in Fast Five character played by Dwayne Johnson team up with Vin Diesel and his gang of street racers. The second was having the group shipped off to London to crack a case that would get Johnson a much needed bad guy giving our anti-heroes their freedom with a federal pardon. It was pure joy and that car chase through the streets of traffic-ensnarled London landed right on our Top 10 Movie Car Chases list! Bring on Fast Seven!
6. Despicable Me 2
We in Hollywood knew that Despicable Me 2 would be a hit. But, even the most astute of box office predictors could never have seen that the film would hit $356 million in domestic box office alone. Globally, it will likely earn a billion dollars! And, it was a fantastically fun family film that for once, was the animated feature that both adults and kids could treasure. The addition of Kristen Wiig to go tete-a-tete with Steve Carell’s Gru, as seen in this Despicable Me 2 trailer, was a stroke of genius.
5. The Conjuring
James Wan seems to have the Midas touch. The Insidious helmer scored another $100 million movie with The Conjuring, a wildly creative scare fest that could be merely the first in a series of true tales to terrify and wholeheartedly entertain audiences for years to come.
4. Iron Man 3
Turns out Robert Downey Jr.'s fourth time wearing the Iron Man suit would be his best of all the Iron Man movies. By stripping his character of practically everything in the first act of Iron Man 3, our hero had a chance to triumphantly rise again with a newfound emotional power.
Putting Gwyneth Paltrow in the suit and having her get in on the action doesn't hurt either! Another Marvel hit and another billion dollars. For Iron Man, it’s on to Avengers: Age of Ultron. For the rest of us, we anxiously await Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
3. This Is the End
Maybe we were in an end of the world mood this summer here at Movie Fanatic, but we have TWO with that theme in our top 3 of summer 2013. The first arrives in the heavily improvised comedy that featured a who’s who of Hollywood stars partying at James Franco’s house as the end of the world arrives.
It was a study in self-mockery, but so much more.
Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride served as the core group that remained after the End of Days started and the result was pure hilarity. Plus, it was not only a good comedy, it was a solid movie… period. The effects were top notch and it was clear from the early moments of that first This Is the End trailer that this was one film where everyone on board had the feeling that they were onto something truly special.
2. The Butler
One of the most surprising “blockbusters” of the summer was also one of its best films. In fact, it should be shooting right to the forefront of Oscar contenders. The Butler stars Forest Whitaker as the real-life man who served seven U.S presidents and also had a front row seat to the Civil Rights movement and the history that was made.
By having the film conclude in the opening days of the Obama administration, director Lee Daniels crafted an almost perfect movie that hit all the right notes and somehow managed to capture 50 years of important events in two hours of mastery.
The fact that The Butler has earned almost $82 million speaks to its quality and appeal across generations and peoples.
1. The World’s End
In The World’s End, at the outset it seems like a fun British comedy about five mates who get back together after two decades to finish a pub crawl they failed to complete as late teens. Yet, it was also a sci-fi thriller that found our quintet of leads fighting off what could be the arrival of an alien/robot apocalypse.
Closing their Blood and Ice Cream trilogy with The World’s End, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright wound up their series on the highest of notes, and in Movie Fanatic’s opinion… it was the best movie blockbuster of the entire summer.
At the end of the day, some might not consider The World’s End a blockbuster, but when a movie doubles its budget… that is one huge hit.
Honorable mentions: Man of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, The Wolverine and Monsters University