Today, the concept of blockbuster refers to the mega-millionaire blockbusters of major American studios, stuffed with effects, made on a monstrous scale, with a more than inflated budget, and which are real money-making machines ( well, at least those which succeed to the taste of the public and end up causing no damage). But the truth is, the concept originated in the mid-1970s and had a slightly different definition. Before, the term (which literally means “blockbuster”), designated films that resonate very culturally, beyond the cinemas.
Before 1975, the cinema was not a cultural problem. They were only commented on by connoisseurs and “stayed in theaters”, without the public “bringing them home”. With the first blockbuster in history, things were different. The film has remained culturally relevant, sparking conversations about it in a variety of spheres. People never tire of talking about it at work, at school and at social events. It was a film that transcended being “just” a cinematographic production, to become a real event. After the session, people walked around the block and returned to the queue to watch again in sequence. The lines doubled the blocks. The sessions were packed. The functionality has generated all kinds of merchandising. Of course, with all of this, a big box office was attached. But the absurd profit was a consequence of all the other factors.
So, in this article, we’ll be celebrating event movies – such a constant part of our current entertainment culture. Without these films, none of this would exist. Here, we’ll take a look at and comment on the top 10 blockbusters in history. For all intents and purposes, we’ll be factoring in the first films to surpass $ 200 million at the box office in their own home territory, in the United States alone. These films, no coincidence, have become so strong in our subconscious and in global society, that they are still commented on today or continue to generate new products. Check it out below and don’t forget to comment.
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that the year 1975 was the big turning point for cinema as we know it today. We need to contextualize that this was the era of the movement called “New Hollywood”, of young filmmakers raised in the counterculture of the hippie era, when global society was undergoing a major transformation of values. So storytelling and cinematic storytelling would never be the same after that. It was then that directors like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg arrived. The latter is the one who ordered the Tubarão phenomenon, known to be the first blockbuster in history. “The movie that brought people out of beaches and theaters,” as the slogan goes, was tasked with ushering in the era of great movies in the North American summer – before a time not very conducive to such. exits. Tubarão changed that and created the home of the so-called “summer blockbusters”.
Since we are going to deal with a nostalgic subject in this matter, nothing better than to call the first Star Wars by its baptismal name here in Brazil, the good old Star Wars – as it became known in the exhibitions of the Bandeirantes network. . And if Tubarão changed cinema in Hollywood and cinema in general, with the story of a big killer fish terrorizing a small town on an island, this second element went even further, creating a whole universe and interconnected productions. . There is a lot of talk today about what Marvel Studios has achieved in its films, but the proposition is not without precedent. Spielberg’s colleague George Lucas would be deified by fans, creating a new kind of movie goer: the nerd. The first Star Wars captured the imagination of its audiences like no other film had dared to – and set the trend. Soon each studio wanted to have its own space adventure.
Shark and Star Wars were the two most successful Hollywood films of all time in the late 1970s. Soon the world was at the feet of visionary duo Spielberg and Lucas. The big secret of the friends is that they made young, vibrant films that are just as suitable for kids and teens as they are for adults. They did not therefore eliminate any part of the public. And if before, parents went to the movies, while their children played, now everyone could go together. In the following years, big productions aim at the position of the new blockbuster of the “play”; films such as Superman – The Movie (1978), Grease – In the Times of the Brilliance (1978), Alien – The Eighth Passenger (1979) and even Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), by Spielberg himself. They even came close, but failed to break through the astronomical barrier (at the time) of $ 200 million at the box office. The third to do so would be Lucas again with the continuation of the Star Wars phenomenon. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) opened the ’80s with a golden key, and although it was not as successful as the original, there are no fans today. who does not cite this second as superior.
The most famous Hollywood duo of the late 1970s and early 1980s were Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The three biggest hits in the history of cinema were theirs. So, if they were already doing this damage on their own, imagine together. The first Indiana Jones is the result of the collaboration of these two enlightened minds. It all happened when Spielberg was on the verge of shutting down to lead an 007 adventure – at the time personified by Roger Moore. Lucas made him give up, claiming to have something better to order for his colleague. And there was no other. It was Lucas who thought of an adventurous hero in the morning cinema mold, who would elevate the subgenre to the mainstream and turn what should be a quintessentially B, jungle adventure, work into one. of the greatest phenomena of the 1980s and of cinema. in general. . Thus, the duo also shaped the 1980s.
05) ET – The Alien (1982)
Another superb goal from Steven Spielberg. The filmmaker alternated successes with his friend George Lucas, and so they continued to dominate Hollywood and the world. One year, the biggest success was that of Spielberg, the following year, the phenomenon was that of Lucas. And so they solidified their names. With ET, the director let his childish side flow and created a reputation for himself as the eternal Peter Pan, an adult with a boyish soul, making the fantasy of the whole planet come true. Whole families have gone to the movies to be delighted with the cute creature from space, lost on our planet and welcomed by a group of children and teenagers – the main seeing in the creature a substitute for the absence of her. father figure, a very personal matter for the director. On top of that, ET is a very rare case of a product from the 1980s that hasn’t had a sequel yet.
When it wasn’t one, it was the other. It was very difficult to break the hold of “blockbuster movie owners” Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Year after year, one of them topped the box office with a new product. In Lucas’s case, the filmmaker managed to place one of the most beloved trilogies in movie history and work on a truly powerful brand. Lucas actually only directed the original film and went on to become a producer and mega-manager in the field, leaving other filmmakers to direct the other two films as well as create the Indiana Jones character and stories. By this time, Star Wars was already a rage and was generating all kinds of licensed products, from dolls and clothes, to sheets, lunch boxes and even video games. It’s safe to say that the Galaxy franchise that Lucas created was the first major cinematic event in history and everything that followed was because of him.
07) Ghostbusters (1984)
When elders tirelessly cite the importance of The Ghostbusters in pop culture, perhaps the younger ones cannot understand or evolve. The Paranormal Investigators movie starred by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, and directed by Ivan Reitman, was the first to break Spielberg-Lucas hegemony in the North American box office and in the subconscious. of pop culture. And that’s an impressive achievement. While searching for a successor to replace Star Wars as a young favorite, Ghostbusters snuck in and became the new global phenomenon, without the finger of any of the traders. Lucas and Spielberg went to great lengths with the Indiana Jones sequel, The Temple of Doom, which came out the same year. But with a darker plot, the film had neither the impact of the first nor its success.
By the mid-1980s, the concept of the blockbuster was already well established in American culture. Movies have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. Each year, therefore, we had to expect a new success which became “larger than life” and kept talking about it. The year 1984 brought two. After The Ghostbusters, released during the summer vacation in the United States, another film showed that blockbusters could be released at any time, even at the end of the year. A Hardcore Cop made comedian Eddie Murphy a star of international renown. Straight out of Saturday Night Live, it’s already had hits with 48 Hours (1982) and Changing the Balls (1983), but nothing would be quite like this movie about a die-hard Chicago cop investigating a case. in Los Angeles, home of the rich, famous and exotic. With the film, Murphy proved that he could handle a story on his own for the first time.
The 1980s were marked by highly appreciated productions. Come to think of it, the list is long and practically inexhaustible. It’s a lot of good things. Everything became sensations, awakening an immediate cult status. Its success filled the pockets of money producers and generated all kinds of connection to the film, like the cartoons. But the truth is, the list of those who actually surpassed the US $ 200 million box office amount in North America was a bit more select. As seen above, only eight films had achieved the feat until 1984. With the arrival of 1985, we gained one more item to the list. Back to the Future is a must when it comes to not just blockbusters and beloved ’80s productions; but also as a film that remains popular to this day, cited in numerous lists of the best of all time. The tale of time travel will also mark Steven Spielberg’s return to center stage in a film he directed.
It is even surprising for us to realize that many beloved and unforgettable films of the 1980s, which achieved enormous success, failed to exceed the $ 200 million mark at the box office to be officially considered. like a blockbuster of the period. But that doesn’t take away from their success, their importance or the passion fans have for them. After Back to the Future, the following years saw a slight hiatus in blockbusters. Films like Top Gun – Aces Indomáveis and Crocodile Dundee, both from 1986, came close to reaching this mark. But who would really consolidate in such a definition would be Batman, by Tim Burton, released at the end of the decade, in 1989. The years 1986, 1987 and 1988 would mark the absence of a really moving film, even with real leaders. -work. The fever would only return with this important entertainment feature, which showed that comics can be a great source of dark, grown-up material, ushering in a new era.
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