Just saw it on Reddit and thought it was worth preserving over here.
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Jiminy wrote:The first star wars movie was the movie they coined the term "blockbuster" for. Apparently it was the first movie that people lined up around the block to buy a ticket for.
That is not accurate. The Ten Commandments, Gone With The Wind and Ben Hur were all called blockbusters before that. That's why the phrase 'bigger than Ben Hur' was around for so long.
After a bit of googling it seems that Star Wars was one of the first few movies considered to be part of the "blockbuster era":
Prior to 1975, summertime was considered by Hollywood executives and movie theater employees alike to be a graveyard: a dead zone where beautiful weather and outdoor activities kept people out of the theaters and gave Hollywood little motivation to turn out high-quality content.
All of that changed with the release of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws in the summer of 1975. The film not only smashed all previous summer box office records but all box office records period. Those records stood until two years later when the summer release of Star Wars blew through them both. The success of both films firmly cemented the concept of “summer blockbuster” in the public consciousness and Hollywood took note; every year since they’ve done their best to lure people away from summer activities and into theaters with high production value action-filled movies.
Quo Vadis, The Ten Commandments, Gone With the Wind, and Ben-Hur, were called blockbusters based purely on the amount of money earned at the box office. Jaws is regarded as the first film of New Hollywood's "blockbuster era" with its current meaning, implying a film genre.
I've never even heard of Quo Vadis before, but the others I was certainly aware of.