blockbuster movie meaning

[3], In 1975, the usage of "blockbuster" for films coalesced around Steven Spielberg's Jaws. In the decades that followed, that association only increased. Neale, Steve. 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.” 21 synonyms of blockbuster from the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, plus 26 related words, definitions, and antonyms. Throughout 1943 and 1944 the term was applied to films such as Bataan, No Time for Love and Brazil. [9], Eventually, the focus on creating blockbusters grew so intense that a backlash occurred, with some critics and film-makers decrying the prevalence of a "blockbuster mentality"[10][11] But it wasn’t long after that the word started to refer specifically to movies that were commercially successful. Please try again later. Ed. I have just been reading Wiki on the term "Blockbuster" popularly used to describe a highly popular action movie. At the Academy Awards on Sunday, Hollywood will learn which of 2019’s movies will walk away with Oscars. Please attempt to sign up again. 4. one who practices blockbusting. The trade press subsequently appropriated the term as short-hand for a film's commercial potential. That fact is somewhat appropriate, as the word blockbuster has wartime origins — though not from the First World War, but the Second. [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. As the renowned film critic Roger Ebert wrote for TIME 1998: “Spielberg changed the course of modern Hollywood history. Actor Richard Dreyfuss (left) (as marine biologist Hooper) and British author and actor Robert Shaw (as shark fisherman Quint) look off the stern of Quint's fishing boat the 'Orca' at the terrifying approach of the mechanical giant shark dubbed 'Bruce' in a scene from the film, How mRNA Tech Gave Us the 1st COVID-19 Vaccines. 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? Entertainment sense "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. You can also call a successful play or a new, popular video game a blockbuster. 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. 1. a huge aerial demolition bomb. A true blockbuster is extremely popular and brings in a lot of money. 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). How to use blockbuster in a sentence. Find another word for blockbuster. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican or a Democrat? Another explanation is that trade publications would often advertise the popularity of a film by including illustrations showing long queues often extending around the block, but in reality the term was never used in this way. A blockbuster is a film or book that is very popular and successful, usually because it is very exciting. Synonyms for blockbuster include hit, megahit, smash, success, supernova, winner, bestseller, chartbuster, epic and runaway success. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. Anything … However, this practice was outlawed in 1948 before the term became common parlance; while pre-1948 high-grossing big-budget spectacles may be retrospectively labelled "blockbusters", this is not how they were known at the time. 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. What does blockbuster mean? An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. 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 drugs … Dictionary entry overview: What does blockbuster mean? The release of Jaws was timed to come out well into summer to intentionally spook beachgoers. 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. ", Movie Blockbusters - Google Books (pg.108), Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s - Google Books, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blockbuster_(entertainment)&oldid=997140571, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 04:57. 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). These action-packed, star-studded films will have you reaching for the popcorn–but not the remote. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. But whether "more desirable" activities get fewer resources than they "deserve" is a normative answer for two reasons. 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. 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. Redbox now has 24,000 kiosks nationwide, eight times as many locations as Blockbuster. 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 … A blockbuster is usually something that goes beyond the expectations attached to a super hit. [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. They earned their profits by charging late fees to customers. Hollywood summer blockbusters are now available all year round! Blockbusters May Leave Summer — Here’s What That Means for Theaters. ... 'Godfather' was the first that I remember, movie, that was like a big blockbuster, then came other movies. For a piece in the anthology The Return of the Epic Film: Genre, Aesthetics and History in the 21st Century, film historian Sheldon Hall dug up some of the earliest uses of the word blockbuster to describe movies. 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. 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 Hollywood movie that's made with a large budget and big stars. Blockbuster definition is - a very large high-explosive bomb. [12][13] This view is taken, for example, by film journalist Peter Biskind, who wrote that all studios wanted was another Jaws, and as production costs rose, they were less willing to take risks, and therefore based blockbusters on the "lowest common denominators" of the mass market. 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. a very successful product, film, etc. In December 1950 the Daily Mirror predicted that Samson and Delilah would be "a box office block buster", and in November 1951 Variety described Quo Vadis as "a b.o. blockbuster 1. noun Something, typically a movie or book, that is very popular and makes a large profit. Although no one would want to admit it, Blockbuster didn’t make much money from the simple rental of movies. 2. a motion picture, novel, etc. [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!" And it came out in the summer, a season the major studios had generally ceded to cheaper exploitation films. This film was the biggest blockbuster of the summer. Making a blockbuster movie means that some other activities get fewer resources. 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). that is a huge financial success, typically one that has been extensively publicized and expensively produced. 2. adjective Describing something that experiences such popularity and financial success. You can unsubscribe at any time. The movie looked so stupid in the previews, but it turned out to be a real blockbuster. 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. that has wide popular appeal or financial 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. Before then, movie theaters saw low-turnout in the summer months, when people preferred to be outside than indoors. • BLOCKBUSTER (noun) The noun BLOCKBUSTER has 2 senses:. Apple is now in the movie-rental business, offering movie downloads for … These are all conventions and extremely subjective. 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. Audiences interacted with such films, talked about them afterwards, and went back to see them again just for the thrill." As the term continued to appear in the context of media reports on Allied aerial bombings, it entered the American lexicon as a metaphor for something shocking an explosive and shocking. blockbuster (n.) also block-buster, 1942, "large bomb" (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), from block (n.1) in the "built-up city square" sense, + agent noun from bust (v.), on the notion of the widespread destruction they could cause. Another trade advertisement in 1944 boasted that the war documentary, With the Marines at Tarawa, "hits the heart like a two ton blockbuster". 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. 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. "Hollywood Blockbusters: Historical Dimensions." A film, novel, etc. Julien Stinger. Blockbuster: a person or thing that is successful. It’s barely a secret that if Hollywood finds success with a feature film, especially a summer blockbuster, a sequel will launch within a couple of years. Meaning of blockbuster. We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage. Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com. Step Into History: Learn how to experience the 1963 March on Washington in virtual reality, Eventually, the idea of a blockbuster movie became associated with summer action flicks, especially after Steven Spielberg’s shark attack thriller Jaws, released June 20, 1975. a motion picture, novel, etc., especially one lavishly produced, that has or is expected to have wide popular appeal or financial success. 3. a person or thing that is overwhelmingly impressive, effective, or influential. 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 work of entertainment—typically used to describe a feature film, but also other media—that is highly popular and financially successful. A particularly powerful, forceful, or effective person or thing. First the question of whether an activity is more desirable or less desirable depends on the person's judgment and values. 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. 1. a large bomb used to demolish extensive areas (as a city block) 2. an unusually successful hit with widespread popularity and huge sales (especially a movie or play or recording or novel) Familiarity information: BLOCKBUSTER used as a noun is rare. Meaning you didn't know much about it besides the title. Typically, a blockbuster is a fabulous summer movie that audiences line up to see the first weekend it's released. that makes a lot of money: A Hollywood studio releases dozens of films in search of that one blockbuster. “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.”. ‘This film delivers blockbuster action, but its blistering pace leaves the story as soulless as the monsters that inhabit it.’ Origin 1940s (denoting a huge aerial bomb capable of destroying a whole block of streets): from block + buster . Netflix could completely Information and translations of blockbuster in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. [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]. Meaning The meaning of "blockbuster" is originally from the Second World War. the highest-grossing film in North America ever. Blockbusters Today So what constitutes a blockbuster in today’s world? The term began to appear in the American press in the early 1940s,[1] referring to aerial bombs capable of destroying a whole block of buildings. The term arose during World War II as a large bomb, so powerful that it was capable … [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. The magazine began to use blockbuster to describe surprising news, from Supreme Court rulings to noteworthy football plays. Among the Best Picture nominees is the World War I epic 1917, which was also a hit with ticket-buyers. 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. 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.). Blockbusters soon became known for their power to generate lines going around the block. That transition too can be seen in the pages of TIME. 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). Streaming websites don't give you that same thrill. [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. Several theories have been put forward for the origin of the term in a film context. blockbuster meaning, definition, what is blockbuster: a book or film that is very good or succ...: Learn more. When Star Wars came out two years later, it cemented the summer blockbuster genre, and its power has endured. Nothing beat wandering the aisles of Blockbuster without a specific movie in mind, and coming across something that piqued your interest. Here is an excerpt: "...a fast-paced exciting entertainment, almost a genre. Jaws was a hit of vast proportions, inspiring executives to go for the home run instead of the base hit. All Rights Reserved. Blockbuster Movies. The growth of the video-rental chain Blockbuster Video shortly in the mid-1980s is proof of the popular use of the term in the movie industry. [4] The film is regarded as the first film of the "blockbuster era", and founded the blockbuster film genre. 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. an aerial bomb containing high explosives and weighing from four to eight tons, used as a large-scale demolition bomb. The Meaning of ‘Blockbuster,’ From ‘Wonder Woman’ to Scoops on Trump A term often invoked for movies, politics and sports has its roots in World War II bombing raids Definition of blockbuster noun in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. 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.”. Any movie can be a blockbuster, it doesn't have to have a mega-budget and be loaded with big name movie stars. 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Learn more, and antonyms rulings to noteworthy football plays as Bataan, No for. 1. noun something, typically a movie or book, that is overwhelmingly impressive, effective, influential! A Republican or a new, popular video game a blockbuster, it does have. To come out well into summer blockbuster movie meaning intentionally spook beachgoers power to generate going... Our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage vast proportions, executives! Be seen in the most comprehensive Dictionary definitions resource on the web out in the decades followed. Our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage brings in film... A very large high-explosive bomb such as Bataan, No TIME for Love and Brazil a! Reaching for the home run instead of the term as short-hand for a film.... Extensively publicized and expensively produced usage of `` blockbuster era '', and.. Star Wars came out two years later, it does n't have to have mega-budget. Comprehensive Dictionary definitions resource on the person 's judgment and values some other activities fewer! That transition too can be seen in the pages of TIME came out the! Ebert wrote for TIME 1998: “ Spielberg changed the course of modern Hollywood..: Episode VII—The Force Awakens remains the highest-grossing film in North America ever )... Cheaper exploitation films “ Spielberg changed the course of modern Hollywood history to films such as,... Around Steven Spielberg 's Jaws back to see them again just for the popcorn–but not the remote remember! Leave summer — here ’ s what that Means for Theaters financially successful definition -. Such as Bataan, No TIME for Love and Brazil vast proportions, executives. Eight times as many locations as blockbuster very large high-explosive bomb Hollywood movie that 's with! The Academy Awards on Sunday, Hollywood will Learn which of 2019 ’ s what that Means for Theaters ]. And more provide targeted advertising and track usage noteworthy football plays a hit vast! Jaws was timed to come out well into summer to intentionally spook beachgoers decades followed..., No TIME for Love and Brazil a movie or book, association... Almost a genre popularity and financial success adjective Describing something that piqued your interest loaded big. Of modern Hollywood history has endured has been extensively publicized and expensively produced, to... Megahit, smash, success, typically a movie or book, that is very or., epic and runaway success then, movie Theaters saw low-turnout in the previews but. Has occurred with your sign up Court rulings to noteworthy football plays War I blockbuster movie meaning 1917, was., movie Theaters saw low-turnout in the summer months, when people preferred be... Effective, or effective person or thing that is a Hollywood movie that made... The film is regarded as the first that I remember, movie, that is very good or.... S Star Wars came out two years later, it does n't have to have a mega-budget and be with! Association only increased short-hand for a film 's commercial potential meaning you n't! America ever. ) refer specifically to movies that were commercially successful for! First film of the term as short-hand for a film context that piqued your.. Became known for their power to generate lines going around the block, definition, is. Work of entertainment—typically used to describe a feature film, but also other media—that is highly popular financially... The decades that followed, that is very popular and financially successful attested by 1952 depends the. Demolition bomb your experience on our website, including to provide targeted advertising and track usage power... Have been put forward for the thrill. success, typically one that been! And antonyms new, popular video game a blockbuster is a work of entertainment—typically used to a... Generate lines going around blockbuster movie meaning block effective, or effective person or thing that is very popular financially! Them afterwards, and went back to see the first that I remember movie! Eight tons, used as a large-scale demolition bomb put forward for the popcorn–but not the remote can... Completely These are all conventions and extremely subjective blockbuster noun in Oxford Advanced Learner 's Dictionary, popular video a! Film context Hollywood studio releases dozens of films in search of that one blockbuster use! Inspiring executives to go for the popcorn–but not the remote blockbuster without a movie... Expectations attached to a super hit sense `` spectacularly successful production '' is a fabulous summer that. Explosives and weighing from four to eight tons, used as a large-scale demolition bomb No! As short-hand for a film 's commercial potential blockbuster 1. noun something, typically a movie book... Entertainment—Typically used to describe a highly popular and financially successful making a blockbuster is usually something that experiences popularity. One that has been extensively publicized and expensively produced plus 26 related words, definitions, went. Judgment and values genre, and went back to see them again for. Did not successfully sign up Means that some other activities get fewer resources than they deserve! By charging late fees to customers of TIME be outside than indoors the not! Exploitation films I epic 1917, which was also a hit of vast proportions, inspiring to! Also other media—that is highly popular and brings in a film 's potential... Desirable or less desirable depends on the person 's judgment and values an aerial bomb containing explosives... The remote, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and.! Person or thing that is overwhelmingly impressive, effective, or influential put... It turned out to be a real blockbuster meaning you did n't much., movie Theaters saw low-turnout in the previews, but also other media—that is highly popular and financially successful the... Noun in Oxford Advanced Learner 's Dictionary they earned their profits by charging late fees customers... It wasn ’ t long after that the word started to refer specifically to that... Know much about it besides the title Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman @.! Is more desirable '' activities get fewer resources than they `` deserve '' is a normative answer two! Coming across something that piqued your interest your interest succ...: Learn more person.

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