Summer Movie Recap: Best Films, Prediction Results, and More

  • Comments: ↓ 5 user comments
  • Publish Date: September 3, 2013

Best-reviewed films

Below are the highest-scoring films (with a minimum of 7 reviews from professional critics) released during the summer months this year.

Best Summer Movies of 2013 – Wide Releases
Movie Genre Metascore
1 Before Midnight Drama 94
2 Fruitvale Station Drama 85
3 The World's End Comedy/Sci-fi 81
4 Blue Jasmine Drama 77
5 The Grandmaster Drama/Foreign/Action 73
6 Star Trek Into Darkness Action/Sci-fi 72
7 The Conjuring Horror 68
8 The Way, Way Back Comedy/Drama 67
9 This Is the End Comedy/Sci-fi 67
10 The Bling Ring Comedy/Drama 66
... and the worst:
47 Grown Ups 2 Comedy 19
And here are the under-the-radar films that never made it to nationwide release but drew praise from the critics who saw them:
Best Summer Movies of 2013 – Limited Releases
Movie Genre Metascore
1 Stories We Tell Documentary 90
2 The Act of Killing Documentary 89
3 Drug War Foreign/Action/Drama 88
4 Museum Hours Foreign/Drama 86
5 Viola Foreign/Drama 85
6 Short Term 12 Drama 85
7 Cutie and the Boxer Documentary 84
8 Blackfish Documentary 83
9 Twenty Feet from Stardom Documentary 83
10 Frances Ha Comedy/Drama 82
... and the worst:
159 Evidence Thriller 14

Limited releases are films that played in fewer than 600 theaters at their peak. Re-releases and films with fewer than 7 reviews are excluded.

Highest-grossing films

Below are the films with the highest domestic box office receipts released from May-August this year (data through Labor Day; some of these films are still in theaters and will continue to add to their grosses). As a whole, despite a large number of flops, the industry did very well this summer; the total of $4.71 billion in North American grosses represents a 10.2% increase over last summer. And that rise wasn't just due to higher ticket prices; attendance was up by over 6% as well.

Highest Grossing Summer Movies of 2013
Movie Domestic Box Office Metascore
1 Iron Man 3 $409 million 62
2 Despicable Me 2 $356 million 62
3 Man of Steel $290 million 55
4 Monsters University $264 million 65
5 Fast & Furious 6 $239 million 61
6 Star Trek Into Darkness $228 million 72
7 World War Z $201 million 63
8 The Heat $157 million 60
9 The Great Gatsby $145 million 55
10 The Conjuring $134 million 68

Domestic box office receipts through September 2, 2013 for films released between May 3, 2013 and August 30, 2013.
Box office data from Box Office Mojo

Best/Worst Opening Weekends for Summer Movies – 2013 *
Best Openers 1st Weekend Gross Metascore
1 Iron Man 3 $174 million 62
2 Man of Steel $117 million 55
3 Fast & Furious 6 $97 million 61
4 Despicable Me 2 $84 million 62
5 Monsters University $82 million 65
Worst Openers 1st Weekend Gross Metascore
1 Paranoia $3.5 million 32
2 Getaway $4.5 million 22
3 Peeples $4.6 million 52
4 Jobs $6.7 million 44
5 You're Next $7.0 million 66

* Wide releases only; grosses are domestic only. Box office data from Box Office Mojo

Metascore prediction results

For the fourth consecutive year, we asked Metacritic users to predict the Metascores for the biggest summer films prior to the start of the summer movie season. This, however, wasn't their year. On average, user guesses were 10.9 points away from the actual score—a result far worse than last year's 8.5 point average gap and the worst figure in the four years we've been doing this. Once again, users were too optimistic, overestimating the scores for 20 of the 29 films (a 30th film was delayed to 2014). And while user predictions were off by fewer than 20 points for every film last summer, they met or exceeded that mark for three separate films this year, topped by a 33-point discrepancy for Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive follow-up Only God Forgives.

User Metascore Predictions vs. Actual Scores for 30 Key Summer Movies
Movie Predicted    Actual    Difference
Pacific Rim   64   64   0
Despicable Me 2   63   62   -1
White House Down   50   52   2
RED 2   50   47   -3
The Smurfs 2   37   34   -3
Star Trek Into Darkness   75   72   -3
The Bling Ring   62   66   4
The Wolverine   56   60   4
Iron Man 3   67   62   -5
The Internship   50   42   -8
Monsters University   73   65   -8
World War Z   55   63   8
Fast & Furious 6   51   61   -10
The Great Gatsby   65   55   -10
The Heat   50   60   -10
This Is the End   57   67   10
Elysium   72   61   -11
Grown Ups 2   30   19   -11
Planes   50   39   -11
The World's End   65   81   16
After Earth   50   33   -17
Blue Jasmine   60   77   17
Man of Steel   72   55   -17
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones   50   33   -17
Much Ado About Nothing   61   78   17
The Lone Ranger   55   37   -18
The Hangover Part III   50   30   -20
Kick-Ass 2   63   41   -22
Only God Forgives   70   37   -33
300: Rise of an Empire   n/a (Delayed to 2014)

"Predicted" represents the median of over 2,800 user predictions submitted in April 2013.

What do you think?

What were your favorite movies this summer? Give us your list in the comments section below.

 

Comments (5)

  • pharmach  

    Really poor showing by Man of Steel. An excellent start, failed to pick up by any means. I predicted the film would hold at least 70 but totally gone bad. Yet another Snyder failure. Man of Steel needs some juice to spice up. It missed.

  • pharmach  

    Really poor showing by Man of Steel. An excellent start, failed to pick up by any means. I predicted the film would hold at least 70 but totally gone bad. Yet another Snyder failure. Man of Steel needs some juice to spice up. It missed.

  • Viewster  

    I enjoyed the Pacific Rim, although I expected it to be disappointing. It's my favorite because being surprised by a film felt even better than simply enjoying it.

  • Laurence83  

    Before Midnight is a near perfect third movie in the trilogy....they just keep getting better

  • LamontRaymond  

    It's a shame that You're Next didn't open better it's one of the best horror movies I've seen in years. Had a little spring in my step leaving the screening. And I"m hardly surprised that the Metacritic users guessed so wrong on Only God Forgives. So did I! Looked fantastic, and it was slower than molasses.

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