Entertainment

The Best Movies Released Memorial Day Weekend 

Ranker Film
Originally by
5k votes 323 voters 12.4k views 36 items

List Rules Movies that were released Memorial Day weekend.

This list includes the best movies released over Memorial Day weekend. The traditional, four-day Memorial Day weekend is considered a major launching point for summer blockbuster films. In fact, as you can clearly see on this list, some of the most epic movies in cinema history came out over the long holiday weekend. Vote for the Memorial Day movie releases you like the most, vote down any you don't like and of course, feel free to re-rank this list your way, too.

Several of the greatest films of all time saw box office release over the Memorial Day weekend, including a number of 'Star Wars' films ('The Empire Strikes Back' and 'A New Hope').

One clear winner on any list of movies released over Memorial Day: Films for kids and/or families. Some great movies for kids got a Memorial Day release, including 'Madagascar,' Pixar's 'Up,' 'Shrek' and 'Kung Fu Panda 2.' No, they weren't all Oscar winners, but they sure kept restless children out of school for the holidays occupied! Holiday weekends are always a great time to release major movies, because a lot of families are looking for a nice escape to a quiet theater to enjoy a few hours of mindless, great entertainment.

While Memorial Day is the traditional kick-off time period for blockbusters, in recent years in particular, more and more big films are being released over the July 4th holiday, too. At least two of the most anticipated summer 2013 movies were released over the Memorial Day weekend: 'The Fast and the Furious 6' and 'The Hangover Part III' were expected to have strong box office debuts, even with competition from 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Great Gatsby.'
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

More Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

#9 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madefeaturing Here's Why The Last Jedi And Empire Strikes Back Are Pretty Much The Same Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

More Star Wars 

#6 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madefeaturing The Most Hated Star Wars Villainslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more

More Star Wars: Episode VI –Return of the Jedi 

#16 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #17 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more

More Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 

#770 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timefeaturing How ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' Traumatized A Whole Generation And Changed Movie Ratingslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Ranker Video
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

More Braveheart 

#16 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #53 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Ranker Video
Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman
Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more

More Up 

#5 of 589 The Best Animated Films Everfeaturing The Most Adventurous Quotes From Disney and Pixar's 'Up'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Ranker Video
Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks, released by DreamWorks Pictures, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of ...more

More Shrek 

#35 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 12 Things You Never Knew About The Making Of 'Shrek'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Indiana Jones and the La... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Released Memorial Day Weekend
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

More Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 

#29 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Best Characters in the Whole Indiana Jones Franchise, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky III is a 1982 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the third film in the series. After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky (Stallone) ...more

More Rocky III 

#502 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #32 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #213 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

10
Ranker Video
Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd
Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third and final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and ...more

More Back to the Future Part III 

#9 of 67 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In February 2020 #113 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #34 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies

11
Ranker Video
Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. The film stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, ...more

More Backdraft 

#120 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #196 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

12
Ranker Video
Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave
Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the 1960s television series. IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must uncover the mole who has framed

More Mission: Impossible 

#148 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #51 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

13
Ranker Video
Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried
Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 action comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Tony Scott. It is the first sequel in the Beverly Hills Cop series. Murphy returns as Detroit police ...more

More Beverly Hills Cop II 

#109 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #24 of 56 The Best Comedy Movie Sequels

14
Ranker Video
Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson
(19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When ...more

More Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 

#77 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #215 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

15
Ranker Video
Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 

#153 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #519 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing The True Story Behind 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas'

16
Ranker Video
Julianne Moore, Steven Spielberg, Camilla Belle
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science fiction adventure directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was produced by ...more

More The Lost World: Jurassic Park 

#110 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #77 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

17
Ranker Video
Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers
Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated, comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon. It is the sequel to 2001's Shrek and the second installment in the series. ...more

More Shrek 2 

#26 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #210 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

18
Ranker Video
Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Will Smith
Men in Black 3 is a 2012 American 3D comic science fiction-action film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. It is the third installment in the ...more

More Men in Black 3 

#1,069 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #80 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #66 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

19
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added
Sylvester Stallone, Ron Jeremy, Brigitte Nielsen
Cobra is a 1986 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos, and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the title role. The film co-stars Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen and ...more

More Cobra 

#1,135 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #318 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #19 of 20 20 Action Movies That Are Way Better Than The Oscar Winners That Beat Them

20
Ranker Video
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Fast & Furious 6 is a 2013 American action film directed by Justin Lin, and the sixth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has Dominic (Vin Diesel) and ...more

More Fast & Furious 6 

#900 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #166 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

21
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rose McGowan, Brendan Fraser
Encino Man is a 1992 comedy film directed by Les Mayfield and starring Brendan Fraser, Sean Astin, and Pauly Shore. The plot revolves around two geeky teenagers from Encino, Los Angeles, ...more

More Encino Man 

#481 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #631 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

22
Ranker Video
Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin
X-Men: The Last Stand is a 2006 superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team introduced in Marvel Comics. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the third installment in the X-Men ...more

More X-Men: The Last Stand 

#251 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #49 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made #536 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Janine Turner
Cliffhanger is a 1993 American action adventure film directed by Renny Harlin and starring Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow. Stallone, who co-wrote the screenplay, plays a mountain climber ...more

More Cliffhanger 

#94 of 208 The Best Adventure Movies #15 of 26 The Best Films About Climbing

24
Ranker Video
Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard
Terminator Salvation is a 2009 American science fiction action film directed by McG and starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. It is the fourth and final installment in the original ...more

More Terminator Salvation 

#96 of 217 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #15 of 30 The Worst Movies With Great Trailers

25
Ranker Video
Logan2011 added
Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson
Shanghai Noon is a 2000 American-Hong Kong action comedy western film starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. The film, marking the directorial debut of Tom Dey, was written by Alfred Gough and ...more

More Shanghai Noon 

#483 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #319 of 387 The Best Movies to Watch While Stoned