Open Channel: What's Your Favorite July 3 Movie Release of All Time?

Back to the Future and Terminator 2 were both released on July 3.
Back to the Future and Terminator 2 were both released on July 3.
Photo: Universal/TriStar

For the past several decades, the July 4 weekend has traditionally been a big one for the movies—school’s out for summer and adults are off work for the holiday, so it’s a great time to release big, blockbuster movies. July 3 in particular, though, is a date with a very impressive history.

Here are the notable science fiction and fantasy movies released on July 3 throughout the years.

In 1985, Back to the Future and Red Sonja were released on July 3.

In 1987, Innerspace was released on July 3.

In 1991, Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released on July 3.

In 1996, Independence Day was released on July 3.

In 2002, Men in Black II and The Powerpuff Girls Movie were released on July 3. (A bit of a drop off, we know.)

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In 2007, the first Transformers was released on July 3.

In 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man was released on July 3.

And in 2013, The Lone Ranger was released on July 3.

That’s a mostly solid list, and it only gets better once you tie in July 1, 2, 4, 5, etc. But today is the 3rd and we figured we’d ask, of the movies mentioned above, which is your favorite? (Note: Exact release dates pre-1970 are difficult to nail down online, but we looked back as far as we could.)

Obviously the two standouts are Back to the Future and Terminator 2: Judgement Day—and, for me, picking between them is damn near impossible. One is a perfect piece of storytelling, the other is one of the most influential films of all time. Honestly, I can’t choose—but can you? Share your favorite in the comments below.

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

UrbanAmazon
UrbanAmazon

Terminator II, hands down. No contest for me, as fun as Back to the Future can be.

I had family members with a huge, VHS-waving fondness for Schwarzenegger films in the 80s and 90s, so I ended up saturated in rated-R action films before my age hit double digits. While some of them eventually began to blur together (I still confuse Red Heat and Raw Deal every now and then), the Terminator series immediately stood out as something powerful and unique... to the point where I honest-to-god harbored actual dread toward a horrible incident happening on August 29, 1997. T2 is a perfect movie from the first sixty seconds. I can’t think of another summer blockbuster movie that starts with such a punch and then refuses to let up.