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The rise of the blockbuster

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AS Film Studies, Hollywood Cinema

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The rise of the blockbuster

  1. 1. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Rise of the Blockbuster Lesson Objectives: To be able to explain the rise of the Hollywood blockbuster.
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  10. 10. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> PICTURE START
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  13. 13. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Assessment Criteria
  14. 14. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Rise of the Blockbuster The rise of the blockbuster in the 1970s led to what film historian Thomas Schatz calls the ‘New Hollywood’ changing the ways in which films were produced, distributed and marketed and ensuring the long term survival of the Hollywood studios.
  15. 15. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> What is a blockbuster?
  16. 16. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> What is a blockbuster? A big budget movie expected to be a huge commercial success.
  17. 17. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Post-war Era • 1946 – peak for Hollywood cinema during Studio Era (1920- early 1940s). • Record revenues of over $1.5 billion, weekly ticket sales of 100 million. • 1948 Paramount decree – US Supreme Court forces Studios to sell off ownership of cinema chains which had enabled them to dominate the market. • 1950s television replaces cinema as most popular form of mass-media narrative entertainment. • Hollywood goes into decline in 1950s and 1960s. • 1969 Hollywood in recession – ‘Hollywood nearly collapsed’ (Tino Balio).
  18. 18. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> 1970s • The 1970s saw a revival in American cinema, spearheaded by a new wave of American filmmakers known as the Movie Brats. • Film school graduates who were the first generation of filmmakers to grow up with cinema. Influenced by European filmmakers. • Bonnie and Clyde (1967) first in a new wave of challenging American films that broke taboos.
  19. 19. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Movie Brats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLpMx8_TYOo
  20. 20. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Bratz the Movie
  21. 21. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Blockbuster • Key to Hollywood’s survival has been the rise of the blockbuster movie. • Hollywood has been increasingly driven by blockbusters since the 1950s. • During the studio era studios relied primarily on routine A-class features to generate revenue, with a few “prestige” pictures.
  22. 22. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Godfather (1972) • First sign of Hollywood revival. • Directed by ‘movie brat’ Francis Ford Coppola. • Pre-sold – based on bestselling novel. • Following the success of The Godfather a number of pre-sold films based on novels produced including Jaws. • Employs established genre (crime). https://www.youtube.c
  23. 23. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Jaws (1975) • Jaws was released in the summer of 1975. Its success is seen as establishing the format for the modern day blockbuster. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1fu_sA7X • Jaws is a SHARK. • This is a shark……………..
  24. 24. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Jaws (1975) • Jaws marked the arrival of New Hollywood. Ushered in era of high cost, high-tech, high- speed thrillers. Jaws – pre-sold via a best-selling novel. Budget above average, but not big-ticket production.
  25. 25. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Jaws (1975) • Released Summer 1975 – up till then most expected hits were released at Christmas. • Major marketing campaign prior to release – saturation marketing. $2.5 million marketing budget – first film to make extensive use of television advertising (TV spots seen by over 200 million people in the US). Frontloading the audience. • Earned over $100 million in 1975. • Commercial tie-ins and merchandise. • Wide release in contrast to established platform release strategy.
  26. 26. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Implications of Jaws • Schatz describes Jaws as a ‘social, industrial, and economic phenomenon’, which consolidated trends in the film industry and established the template for the modern summer blockbuster. • It emphasised the importance of wide releases and saturation marketing, placing increased importance on the performance of a film in the first weeks of its release, a technique known as frontloading the audience.
  27. 27. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> • Increase in sequels, reissues, franchises, remakes. • 1964-1968 less than 5% of Hollywood films. • 1974-1978 17.5%. • 2011 – 9 of the top 10 films at global box office were sequels. • Birth of the ‘megafranchise’ (Dalecki)
  28. 28. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Sequels 7 of the US top 10 films in 2015 were franchise films.
  29. 29. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Star Wars (1977) • Made $127 million in 1977. • Part of a trend of American films that are increasingly plot-driven, visceral, kinetic, fast- paced, increasingly reliant on special effects, and targeted at a younger audience. • Merchandise, commercial tie-ins, franchise. • Star Wars franchise the first blockbuster franchise.

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