Five Hot Summer of 2016 Movie Hits

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Connor Harding, Editor-in-Chief

When it comes to the releases of absolute blockbuster, must see feature films, and long awaited sequels, summer is the closest thing to primetime that we will ever get. Some of the most memorable, highest budgeted, star studded, highly advertised films on the face of the earth tend to come out between the months of May through August. Some films are received well, make millions of dollars, and give movie critics a reason to keep doing their jobs; others turn out to be flops, disappointments, or are critically mocked into obscurity (I’m looking at you, Ghostbusters reboot.) Today, I’m focusing my efforts on the best that the summer of 2016 had to offer based on either how much each film grossed in comparison to its budget,  how highly it was rated by critics such as Roger Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes,  or on the overall appeal audiences had when they went to see these shows in theatres.
5. X-Men: Apocalypse
Directed by Bryan Sanger, X-Men: Apocalypse was the first real blockbuster to hit the big screen this summer on May 18th. With a monolithic budget of 178 million dollars, this quickly released sequel blew audiences away with all of the staples of a typical superhero flick. There was big action, big names, big effects, big advertising, big everything.  While being reviewed as only “average” by critics, this movie was undeniably loved by audiences, who showed that gratification by giving the cast and crew of this brawl-until- you-drop epic nearly 400 million dollars in profit from theaters alone.

4. Sausage Party
Sausage party released August 12th, was the movie that lured unsuspecting kids into watching what they initially thought was an innocent kids’ movie. They were wrong however, and the rest of the world was pleasantly surprised. This smart, controversial, unique twist on animated films directed by Conrad Vernon pulled it all off with a smaller budget of 19 million and grossed a respectable 90 million in return.  However, the reason that it is on this list is due to the epic reviews given to it by amused critics, who seemed to love the subtle societal undertones,  and older audiences alike.

3. Don’t Breathe
This Fede Alvarez directed horror flick came out in late August, just as summer vacation really began to wind down. With a shoestring budget and a cast of B-list celebrities at best, Don’t Breathe managed to pull off a surprising victory for the horror movie industry. While it relied on a somewhat unbelievable premise, as most horror movies do, it never seemed to grow dull or too unbelievable to view. A 9.8 million dollar budget turned into a nearly 100 million dollar grossing success, which was enjoyed by critics and fans alike. For most who went to see Don’t Breathe in theatres, this film could best be described as a breath of fresh air in a genre which is struggling to create new concepts.

2. Captain America: Civil War
The Russo brothers kept the unstoppable wave of hype surrounding all Marvel movies going with this beloved title which was released in May. Grossing over 1 BILLION DOLLARS at the box office, four times its already lucrative budget, Captain America: Civil War is the highest grossing movie of the year up to this point near the end of September. With the budget resting at a cool 260 million, it also had the largest budget of any film produced in the first half of 2016. With that much money and effort poured into a film, it is easy to see why it was given nearly perfect marks by most critics. Will Marvel ever slow down in their production of fast paced action productions? Judging by the impressive numbers across the board, we can all assume that it won’t happen any time soon.
1. Finding Dory
While Captain America appealed to its vast fan base, there was still one long-awaited movie that managed to beat the Marvel Titan out during its opening weekend at the box office. Finding Dory was a legacy in the making ever since its popular predecessor was released 13 years ago.  With a budget of 200 million dollars, Dory pulled in an impressive 931 million at the box office, over four times its colossal budget. Absolutely no other movie this summer managed to match the crowd appeal that Finding Dory brought to the table either. Overall, Finding Dory had the highest acclaim of any movie by critics on all sites that I researched.  This movie’s invincible aura will surely carry on through to the Oscars, where I foresee Disney tugging home a boatful of awards thanks to the massive success of this revived franchise.

So that about sums up the summer review.  Undoubtedly your favorite appears somewhere on this list.  Please take the attached poll and rate your favorite.  Thanks for the input!

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