July 4 in Sci-Fi History: Top 10 Independence Day Weekend Openings

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Jul 4, 2017, 12:58 PM EDT (Updated)

Happy 4th of July, team. We've been throwing a ton of movie recommendations your way over the last few days, if you still need something to occupy the minds of the pre-teens hanging around waiting to blow stuff up.

And it got us thinking: Which movies actually did well?

Turns out they're all mostly sequels. So we don't necessarily recommend revisiting these, because Innerspace, Back to the Future and other movies should already be at the top of your list. But here's what did well, in descending order.

Men In Black II - Trailer

Men in Black II (2002)

It earned $52 million in its opening weekend in 2002. It’s a sequel to a beloved movie based on a beloved comic book. And it has Will Smith. What's not to be-love?

Superman Returns (2006) Official Trailer #1 - Superhero Movie HD

Superman Returns (2006)

Another sequel! The Bryan Singer flying-around movie brought in just $400K more than Men in Black 2 with a $52.5 million opening weekend in 2006.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Final Trailer (OFFICIAL)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

There's been a few of these. This was the first Andrew Garfield version. It did okay. And one would think, like, better than one of those Tobey Maguire ones, right? Welp … maybe. It opened on a Tuesday and by Sunday had scored $137 million ... though only about $62 million if we're just counting the weekend.

Hancock - Official® Trailer 1 [HD]

Hancock (2008)

$62 million for a story about a down-on-his-luck superhero. It's not a terrible movie. It’s not a GREAT movie, either. But also not terrible.


The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

Another sequel! Seeing a trend? Of course you are. Apparently, we wait all summer to revisit characters we only sort of cared about anyway. $64 million and a close tie with number 5.

War of the Worlds (2005) - Trailer

War of the Worlds (2005)

This was bound to be on this list. We all expected it to be another Independence Day and mostly it was Tom Cruise doing an impression of Mark Wahlberg. Still, at $64.8 million ... not a bad weekend.

Transformers (2007) - Full Trailer [HD]

Transformers (2007)

We were pumped for this. Michael Bay making a movie with big machines that were our favorite toys. We bought the hype. We went. And it broke our eyes because there were so many things happening in the frame. Also, weirdly, we liked Shia LaBeouf? How? Anyway, it made $70 million dollars in its opening weekend.

Despicable Me 2 - Trailer 2

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

The thing is, it's not a better movie than Despicable Me. But it definitely made more money. $83 million dollars. That's some serious coin for a cartoon in 2013. Interestingly enough, the ONLY cartoon on this list.

Spiderman 2 (2004) Trailer

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

So. Thing is, this is the sequel to the Tobey Maguire one. And it was in 2004, and none of the subsequent Spider-Man movies have knocked it out of the number two spot. Y’all, it made $88 million dollars. In 2004. That's, like, a billion dollars in 2017.

Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon Trailer 3 Official (HD)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

So. This movie, which famously left a word out of its title for … reasons … made $97 million dollars. In one weekend. And … like … it did? Someone. Please. Explain.

Tomorrow: Sheep Bikini. You heard me.