Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Blockbuster motion picture
A blockbuster motion picture is a film that recieves gross ticket sales of US$400 million or more internationally or $200 million or more in the United States and Canada (which acts as one market for cinema).
Traditionally, blockbuster motion picture was a term used by the motion picture industry to describe any movie that has achieved $100 million in ticket sales. As inflation caused production costs and ticket sale revenues to skyrocket during the 1990s, however, the $100 million plateau lost much of its significance. Titanic, for instance, cost $200 million to produce; ticket sales of $100 million would have resulted in a $100 million shortfall, a financial disaster even though it would have technically been a "blockbuster" by this standard. Also in the 1990s, it became common for 15 to 20 films to reach the $100 million plateau in a year, removing the elusive status of being signified a "blockbuster". It has thus become more common in the U.S. to use the $200 million level as a realistic plateau in determining widespread box office success.
The term is used more commonly by the general public and mass media to describe any big-budget or highly anticipated film.
One theory of cultural historians has been that the biggest box office successes of a given year reflect thematic resonance with the Zeitgeist of the time. However, they believe that it is impossible to really see what elements of the film resonated with people without some historical distance.
The term was borrowed from the World War II-era bomb of the same name that flattened entire neighborhoods. The analogy is that when a blockbuster motion picture is released, competing film ticket sales are flattened by public indifference.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details