A total of 28 of the top 50 all-time top grossing U.S. movie releases have occurred on one of five "billion-dollar weekends" and eight of those films came out the weekend of Memorial Day. Five of them, however, came out on the weekend before Christmas. The lists below include each billion-dollar weekend, the Top 50 U.S.-grossing movies that were released on those dates, and how much each movie earned.Memorial Day Weekend
The Empire Strikes Back | $290,158,751
Return of the Jedi | $309,125,409
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End | $309,404,152
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones | $310,675,583
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | $317,011,114
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith | $380,262,555
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace | $431,065,444
Star Wars | $460,935,665TOTAL | $2,808,638,673 Pre-Christmas Weekend
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | $313,837,577
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers | $340,478,898
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King | $377,019,252
Titanic | $600,779,824
Avatar | $760,505,847TOTAL | $2,392,621,398 First Weekend in May
Iron Man 2| $312,057,433
Iron Man| $318,298,180
Spider-Man 3| $336,530,303
Spider-Man 2| $373,377,893
Spider-Man| $403,706,375 The Avengers* | $457,665,517 TOTAL | $2,201,635,701 Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend
Home Alone | $285,761,243
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire | $289,994,397
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 | $294,980,434
Twilight Saga: New Moon | $296,619,304
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone | $317,557,891TOTAL | $1,484,913,269 Independence Day Weekend
Twilight Saga: Eclipse | $300,523,113
Independence Day | $306,124,059
Transformers | $318,759,914
Transformers 2: Dark of the Moon | $352,358,779TOTAL | $1,277,765,865
*Avengers is still earning, so the totals may change somewhat.
Thanks in no small part to Peter Jackson and James Cameron, the weekend before Christmas is the second most successful movie release weekend in U.S. history. You can make a case that there might need to be another geek holiday around this time, but the late-December calendar is already pretty crowded.
That's not just a simultaneously scheduled slate of sensory-overloading cinema; it's an annually awe-inspiring allocation of Geek Trivia.
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.