Meaning The meaning of "blockbuster" is originally from the Second World War. The movie looked so stupid in the previews, but it turned out to be a real blockbuster. Nothing beat wandering the aisles of Blockbuster without a specific movie in mind, and coming across something that piqued your interest. But it wasn’t long after that the word started to refer specifically to movies that were commercially successful. Within a few years, the Jaws model would inspire an industry in which budgets ran wild because the rewards seemed limitless, in which summer action pictures dominated the industry and in which the hottest young directors wanted to make the Great American Blockbuster.”. You can unsubscribe at any time. These two films were the prototypes for the "summer blockbuster" trend,[7] in which major film studios and distributors planned their annual marketing strategy around a big release by July 4. Julien Stinger. It was perceived as a new cultural phenomenon: a fast-paced, exciting entertainment, inspiring interest and conversation beyond the theatre (which would later be called "buzz"), and repeated viewings. that makes a lot of money: A Hollywood studio releases dozens of films in search of that one blockbuster. The word first appeared in the pages of TIME in a Nov. 29, 1942, article on the Allied bombing of key industrial targets in fascist Italy; the bombs used for such missions were called blockbusters because of their ability to destroy an entire city block. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. That fact is somewhat appropriate, as the word blockbuster has wartime origins — though not from the First World War, but the Second. This film was the biggest blockbuster of the summer. “Continual use detached the word from its linguistic origins and ensured that it came to be associated primarily with popular entertainment in general and with the big-budget, high-impact Hollywood hit in particular.”. ... 'Godfather' was the first that I remember, movie, that was like a big blockbuster, then came other movies. [6] After the success of Jaws and Star Wars, many Hollywood producers attempted to create similar "event" films with wide commercial appeal, and film companies began green-lighting increasingly large-budget films, and relying extensively on massive advertising blitzes leading up to their theatrical release. [14] In his book The Long Tail, Chris Anderson talks about blockbuster films, stating that a society that is hit-driven, and makes way and room for only those films that are expected to be a hit, is in fact a limited society.[15]. Here is an excerpt: "...a fast-paced exciting entertainment, almost a genre. [2] Its first known use in reference to films was in May 1943, when advertisements in Variety and Motion Picture Herald described the RKO film, Bombardier, as "The block-buster of all action-thrill-service shows!" These action-packed, star-studded films will have you reaching for the popcorn–but not the remote. You can also call a successful play or a new, popular video game a blockbuster. Blockbuster definition is - a very large high-explosive bomb. A blockbuster is a work of entertainment—typically used to describe a feature film, but also other media—that is highly popular and financially successful. Hollywood summer blockbusters are now available all year round! Neale, Steve. The trade press subsequently appropriated the term as short-hand for a film's commercial potential. [8], The next fifteen years saw a number of high-quality blockbusters released including the likes of Alien (1979) and its sequel, Aliens (1986), the first three Indiana Jones films (1981, 1984 and 1989), E.T. blockbuster 1. noun Something, typically a movie or book, that is very popular and makes a large profit. All Rights Reserved. 2. adjective Describing something that experiences such popularity and financial success. By the early 1950s the term had become standardised within the film industry and the trade press to denote a film that was large in spectacle, scale and cost, that would go on to achieve a high gross. (Today, 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens remains the highest-grossing film in North America ever.). The release of Jaws was timed to come out well into summer to intentionally spook beachgoers. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Ghostbusters (1984), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), the Back to the Future trilogy (1985, 1989 and 1990), Top Gun (1986), Die Hard (1988), Batman (1989) and its sequel Batman Returns (1992), and The Hunt for Red October (1990). Apple is now in the movie-rental business, offering movie downloads for … Blockbuster: a person or thing that is successful. 21 synonyms of blockbuster from the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, plus 26 related words, definitions, and antonyms. When the film opened in Italy in March 1953, TIME reported that it cost more than $6,500,000 to make (more than $60 million today) and was the third biggest-grossing film in movie … Before then, movie theaters saw low-turnout in the summer months, when people preferred to be outside than indoors. that is a huge financial success, typically one that has been extensively publicized and expensively produced. Entertainment sense "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. I have just been reading Wiki on the term "Blockbuster" popularly used to describe a highly popular action movie. Blockbusters May Leave Summer — Here’s What That Means for Theaters. The original sense of bombs that blast the entire block, the term was used figuratively in the fifties referring to very successful movies, from which the contemporary meaning. A true blockbuster is extremely popular and brings in a lot of money. The term was actually first coined by publicists who drew on readers' familiarity with the blockbuster bombs, drawing an analogy with the bomb's huge impact. A blockbuster is a Hollywood movie that's made with a large budget and big stars. Any movie can be a blockbuster, it doesn't have to have a mega-budget and be loaded with big name movie stars. Although no one would want to admit it, Blockbuster didn’t make much money from the simple rental of movies. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. Jaws was a hit of vast proportions, inspiring executives to go for the home run instead of the base hit. By signing up you are agreeing to our, Why 'The Great Gatsby' Now 'Belongs to the People', Save on the cover price and get Free Issues, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. At the Academy Awards on Sunday, Hollywood will learn which of 2019’s movies will walk away with Oscars. Meaning of blockbuster. Several theories have been put forward for the origin of the term in a film context. Making a blockbuster movie means that some other activities get fewer resources. The term has also come to refer to any large-budget production intended for "blockbuster" status, aimed at mass markets with associated merchandising, sometimes on a scale that meant the financial fortunes of a film studio or a distributor could depend on it. "Hollywood Blockbusters: Historical Dimensions." According to Cambridge Dictionary online, a blockbuster is defined as “a book or movie that is very successful.” Merriam-Webster is a bit less specific and defines it as “one that is notably expensive, effective, successful, large, or extravagant.” Netflix could completely [3], In 1975, the usage of "blockbuster" for films coalesced around Steven Spielberg's Jaws. Blockbusters are the type of movies that can be watched over and over again and Amazon Prime offers an endless library of movies to choose from. blockbuster [...] right up there with Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind for boxoffice performance [...] a super-spectacle in all its meaning". Blockbuster Drug: A blockbuster drug is an extremely popular drug that generates annual sales of at least $1 billion for the company that sells it. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. 4. one who practices blockbusting. In the decades that followed, that association only increased. Hall posits that it took a few years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for writers to feel comfortable using a bomb-based metaphor in such a lighthearted way, but it soon became clear that the entertainment meaning of blockbuster would win out over the military one. Among the Best Picture nominees is the World War I epic 1917, which was also a hit with ticket-buyers. Please attempt to sign up again. As the renowned film critic Roger Ebert wrote for TIME 1998: “Spielberg changed the course of modern Hollywood history. With some oldies but goodies and even some from the last decade, grab some popcorn because these are the best blockbusters available to stream on Amazon Prime right now, ranked by IMDb. Blockbuster drugs … [5] Two years later, Star Wars expanded on the success of Jaws, setting box office records and enjoying a theatrical run that lasted more than a year. Dictionary entry overview: What does blockbuster mean? [3], The term fell out of usage in the aftermath of World War II but was revived in 1948 by Variety in an article about big budget films. In the May 9, 1943, issue, TIME used the word to describe a movie, not for its box-office take but for its content: the film adaptation of former Ambassador Joseph E. Davies’ best-selling Mission to Moscow was “audacious in the extreme” such that critics called it “as explosive as a blockbuster.”, Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter. A blockbuster is a film or book that is very popular and successful, usually because it is very exciting. And it came out in the summer, a season the major studios had generally ceded to cheaper exploitation films. 1. a huge aerial demolition bomb. Find another word for blockbuster. Typically, a blockbuster is a fabulous summer movie that audiences line up to see the first weekend it's released. The term arose during World War II as a large bomb, so powerful that it was capable … We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage. Blockbusters Today So what constitutes a blockbuster in today’s world? aerial bombs capable of destroying a whole block of buildings, List of highest-grossing openings for films, "blockbuster | Definition of blockbuster in English by Oxford Dictionaries", "Pass the ammunition : a short etymology of "Blockbuster, "Celebrating the Original STAR WARS on its 35th Anniversary", "Did 'Jaws' and 'Star Wars' Ruin Hollywood? Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican or a Democrat? blockbuster meaning, definition, what is blockbuster: a book or film that is very good or succ...: Learn more. Variety also dubbed 1953 “a year of box-office blockbusters” because 135 releases grossed $1 million or more, and 1958 was similarly dubbed “the year of the blockbusters for the picture business,” including The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). When Star Wars came out two years later, it cemented the summer blockbuster genre, and its power has endured. the highest-grossing film in North America ever. The word “was ultimately rendered safe not only by the fact of its obsolescence as a military weapon, but also by its very pervasiveness as an expression during the postwar period,” writes Hall. Throughout 1943 and 1944 the term was applied to films such as Bataan, No Time for Love and Brazil. Peppered with '80s and '90s nostalgia, "The Last Blockbuster" documentary is a delightful rewind of the movie rental store's golden era told through the lens of the Bend, Oregon store. Meaning you didn't know much about it besides the title. The magazine began to use blockbuster to describe surprising news, from Supreme Court rulings to noteworthy football plays. 2. a motion picture, novel, etc. lamenting the death of the author-driven, "more artistic" small-scale films of the New Hollywood era (despite criticism of the praise the latter set of films received). 3. a person or thing that is overwhelmingly impressive, effective, or influential. But whether "more desirable" activities get fewer resources than they "deserve" is a normative answer for two reasons. Information and translations of blockbuster in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Synonyms for blockbuster include hit, megahit, smash, success, supernova, winner, bestseller, chartbuster, epic and runaway success. The term has also come to refer to any large-budget production intended for "blockbuster" status, aimed at mass markets with associated merchandising, sometimes on a scale that meant the financial fortunes of a film studio or a distributor could depend on it. Anything … A blockbuster is a work of entertainment—typically used to describe a feature film, but also other media—that is highly popular and financially successful. Redbox now has 24,000 kiosks nationwide, eight times as many locations as Blockbuster. [4] The film is regarded as the first film of the "blockbuster era", and founded the blockbuster film genre. A particularly powerful, forceful, or effective person or thing. A Dec. 22, 1950, British Daily Mirror article predicted that Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949) would be a “box office blockbuster” when it opened in the U.K.; a review in the Nov. 14, 1951, issue of Variety called the movie Quo Vadis (1951) “a blockbuster” that was “right up there with The Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind for box office performance.” When the film opened in Italy in March 1953, TIME reported that it cost more than $6,500,000 to make (more than $60 million today) and was the third biggest-grossing film in movie history, boasting a take of $10.5 million (about $100 million today). One explanation pertains to the practice of "block booking" whereby a studio would sell a package of films to theaters, rather than permitting them to select which films they wanted to exhibit.

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