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Beginning with the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend in August, Hollywood studios compete in a fierce, multi-billion dollar race to see which movie will emerge on top of the summer box office.
Loyalty is a common theme, explaining why studios scramble to build franchises. Installments in the Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter franchises each made the list twice (factoring in sequels) over the past 16 summers, beginning in 2000.
The top summer earner to date is Jurassic World, not accounting for inflation. The Universal reboot grossed $1.670 globally following its release in June 2015 and presently ranks as the fourth top-grossing title of all time among any movie after Avatar ($2.788 billion), Titanic ($2.187 billion) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.068 billion), again not accounting for inflation. (All three of the latter movies opened outside of summer.)
So far this summer, Marvel and Disney's Captain America: Civil War is the victor with worldwide earnings of $1.148 billion. The other big player is fellow Disney release Finding Dory, which crossed $300 million domestically in its first 12 days, a record for an animated film. Civil War is likely to win the summer 2016 crown, but don't entirely rule out Dory.
Below is every top-earning summer release since 2000, according to Box Office Mojo (grosses were not adjusted for inflation).
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