Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This summer (unlike many previous summers), I've seen two highly anticipated movies of summer 2005 (i.e., Blockbuster season): "Batman Begins" and "War of the Worlds." They gave me plenty to think about.

According to Scott Bowles of USA Today, another Steven Spielberg movie, "Jaws," was the first blockbuster movie, kicking off the summer blockbuster season. Released on 465 screens on the same day, it earned more than $100 million in one month (in 1975 money). A year later, "Star Wars" had people lining up around the block (including me). It ultimately became the No. 2 all-time box-office success, raking in nearly $462 million.

So sitting in BB and WoW this month, I asked myself if these flicks were blockbusters. Both have passed the $100,000 mark within first month's release (WoW did that in four days), but should money be the only measure?

I think other measures should be word of mouth and the desire to plunk down another $6-$9 for the pleasure of suspending our disbelief. In this summer's two biggies, BB did that for me. Coming out of WoW yesterday, I said to my friend, "Well, I don't see myself going to that one again." I've also mentioned to--already!--about three people to either see it in a drive-in or don't bother. How many times does one really need to hear a little girl scream, before seeing a notably anticlimatic ending? Sure, it was good, but more of a block bust than buster.