15 unexpected summer movie hits
Plus: 'Bring it On,' 'The Karate Kid,' 'Babe' and more
Release Date: June 3, 1988
Box Office: $115 million
Why: The very last in a late '80s string of films featuring adult actors behaving like kids (following "Like Father Like Son," "18 Again!" and "Vice Versa"), "Big" had a likable star in Tom Hanks (who hadn't scored a major hit since his breakout in "Splash" four years earlier) and a relatively untested director in former "Laverne and Shirley" star Penny Marshall (her Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was a minor success two years earlier). It also had a rather ingenious comedy-fantasy script by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg that had heart and humor audiences simply adored. Despite heavyweight competition from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Coming to America" not long after it opened, "Big" played all summer long and catapulted Hanks from second-string comedy lead to Oscar-nominated movie star.
- Geoff Berkshire