In the beginning, there was Jaws. And it changed cinema forever. Jaws is pretty much seen as the father of the summer blockbuster because, up until then, movies were only shown in a few theatres. Yes, there were films like Gone with the Wind, but Jaws was an outright cultural phenomenon, aimed at pulling in as many cinema-goers and, thus, cash as possible. It was the first film to use a “wide release” strategy and became the first movie to gross over $100m in box office receipts. Jaws introduced a new kind of cinema that was fast, exciting, pure entertainment.
Since its release in June 1975, summer blockbusters have become key for the financial success of film studios. They are popular with audiences, but often criticised for being all style and no substance, pitted against the more serious, artistic films of the New Hollywood Era. But there can be no denying that these summer blockbusters are a sure-fire way to keep the money rolling in. They are made with the audience in mind, and as wide an age range as possible. They are pure entertainment and will attempt to enlist the biggest stars and the biggest budgets. There will often be a heavy use of special effects, devices to keep the audience’s attention at all times, and they will guarantee that your child will be begging for the Limited Edition lunch box/pyjamas/wristwatch combo.
In this list, I will be looking at the Top 10 Summer Blockbusters in all their outrageous, money-grabbing glory.