On this day in pop culture history: ‘Aliens’ opened in theaters
30 years ago today, Ripley returned, as badass as ever.
On July 18, 1986, Aliens hit theaters, giving audiences a movie that kept the blossoming franchise fresh as it transitioned from sci-fi horror to sci-fi action.
This time around, Ripley had a surrogate daughter to protect and a new alien queen to battle, while Sigourney Weaver had a producing credit and a bigger voice in the development of the James Cameron-directed sequel to the 1979 Ridley Scott movie.
Ripley paved the way for future action heroines, including Furiosa of last year’s Mad Max: Fury Road. For a HitFix debate of which of the two is a better hero, check out this video.
Aliens will get a 30th anniversary celebration at San Diego Comic-Con with a reunion of Cameron, Weaver, and more cast members. Also, announced today, the Comic-Con panel will be live-streamed and available to watch on YouTube inside our outside the convention center this Saturday.
Other notable July 18 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1965: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened in Disneyland.
• 1988: The Beach Boys single “Kokomo” was released in the U.S. It became the band’s first no. 1 hit on since “Good Vibrations” in 1966, making it the longest time span between two singles from one band topping the U.S. singles chart.
• 1990: Frank Marshall-Kathleen Kennedy movie Arachnophobia opened in theaters.
• 1998: The soundtrack for Armageddon hit the top of the U.S. album chart. The soundtrack for Titanic had dominated the chart for 16 weeks earlier that year.
• 2001: Jurassic Park III opened in theaters.
• 2006: Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” single was released. It went on to be JT’s first single to reach no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, holding the top spot for seven weeks.