terminator

[photo: Paramount Pictures]

Aside from the businesses that make fireworks and fire extinguishers, few industries are as patriotic as Hollywood when it comes to Independence Day. Will newcomer Spider-Man: Far From Home break records?

Until we see if one of those films makes the upper echelon, here are the 10 highest grossing 4th of July movie openers of all time:

1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
$97.9 million opening

transfomers1

[photo: Paramount Pictures]

It makes sense that director Michael Bay would own the largest July 4 weekend; his movies are essentially pyrotechnic displays of mayhem. While it didn’t have critics pledging allegiance, Moon would become the second-largest installment of the franchise, which has raked in $1.3 billion in total.

2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
$88.2 million opening

spider-man2

[photo: Sony Pictures]

The sophomore act from director Sam Raimi’s trilogy marked the best film of the Peter Parker franchise, and one of the best comic-book films ever. Surprisingly dark and layered, Spidey 2 would net another $410 million overseas, securing its place among Marvel heavyweights.

3. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
$83.5 million opening

despicable me

[photo: Universal Pictures]

Universal Pictures didn’t realize what it had when it released the original animated comedy in 2010. But that film went on to collect $251 million, prompting a swift sequel — and a spinoff in Minions, which opens July 10.

4. Transformers (2007)
$70.5 million opening

transformers2

[photo: Paramount Pictures]

As the only director with two films in the top 10, Michael Bay has nearly cornered the July 4 weekend market. The original Transformers would go on to collect $300 million in North America alone, prompting four sequels.

5. War of the Worlds (2005)
$64.9 million opening

war worlds

[photo: Paramount Pictures]

Steven Spielberg’s homage to the classic H.G. Wells space-invader story was well-received by critics and fans, though pundits expected a larger return. Still, its $357 million overseas made it a world conqueror.

6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
$64.8 million opening

eclipse

[photo: Lionsgate]

The only film of the popular vampire romance franchise to open on a July 4 weekend, Eclipse marked the biggest film of the franchise, and the only one to crack the $300 million mark. The YA audience can raise the stars and stripes, too!

7. Hancock (2008)
$62.6 million opening

hancock

[photo: Columbia Pictures]

Box office analysts expected superhero numbers from this Will Smith thriller (written by Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan). By Smith’s standers (and with a $150 million budget), the film was only considered a modest success, even though it did collect $624 million worldwide.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
$62 million opening

amazing spidey

[photo: Sony Pictures]

Sony planned to charge back into the superhero game with this reboot of Sam Raimi’s trilogy, and $262 million overall kept the film in the black. But it took in well less than any of the three original movies.

9. Superman Returns (2006)
$52.5 million opening

superman

[photo: Warner Bros.]

Considered a rather tepid July 4 opening, The Man of Steel has been brought to the big screen a half dozen times, and usually soars. But how does a movie that makes $200 million be a flop? When it costs $270 million to make.

10. Men in Black II (2002)
$52.1 million opening

men black

[photo: Columbia Pictures]

The follow-up to the 1997 original acquitted itself nicely, though critics and fans didn’t respond as strongly. But it would manage another $251 million overseas and spawn a sequel.

Honorable Mentions:

12. Independence Day (1996)
$50.2 million opening

The film everyone associates with, well, Independence Day, doesn’t make the top 10, but its credited as being the first film to start the whole idea of a 4th of July movie bonanza.

15. The Perfect Storm (2000)
$41.3 million opening

Few expected this adaptation to become a blockbuster, even with a mid-summer release, but stars George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg gave the real-life story unexpected buoyancy.

17. Armageddon (1998)
$36.1 million opening

Another Michael Bay classic. While its debut wasn’t a world record-beater, it demonstrated surprisingly strong legs through the rest of summer.

18. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
$31.8 million opening

It’s hard to believe this sequel barely cracked the top 20. Still, James Cameron’s breakthrough special effects flick – and the best of the franchise – would give birth to knockoffs and sequels that continue to this day.