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On Hollywood Blockbusters - Essay Example

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Bordwell (2006) explains that blockbuster is often used not to denote a genre of film per se but to describe the performance of a movie on the market. In simple terms, blockbuster is often associated with hit or good movies that generate a lot of revenue for filmmakers. One would then ask whether in the pre-blockbuster era there were no good movies. The answer is no. there were good and hit movies but after movies like Jaws started showing possibility of amassing so much profits from box office, the focus of filmmakers now shifted to finding the trick of making huge box offices in each and every movie they made and that started the blockbuster era. So in general terms, the writer agrees that blockbuster came to take off as the defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood. However, the writer refuses to agree to the often negative connotation given to blockbuster as the defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood. In the opinion of the writer therefore, blockbusters came as a good and positive phenomenon and continues to remain so. One of the first reasons why the writer disagrees with the argument that the blockbuster is a negative defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood is that blockbuster actually came in to serve a dying situation. This is to say that the trend of blockbuster was very important in saving the Hollywood film industry from absolute and total collapse. Clearly, bankruptcy was taking over the film industry and so there was every justification for a process that would salvage the situation. Two clear examples can be give in the cases of Heaven’s Gate, which was produced in 1980 by Michael Cimino and One from the Heart, which was produced in 1982 by Francis Ford Coppola. Heaven’s Gate actually made a loss of 40.5million USD after earning $3.5 million in box-office as against a $44 million production cost. One from the heart earned merely $636,000 out of $26 million. The said now that such giant players behind the film industry actually run into bankruptcy since those losses. Without any doubt, the industry would have been seriously affected if the pursuit for profit making through the production of ‘hit’ films was not followed as what was earned in 1975 with the making of Jaws. On the grounds that blockbuster was necessary to rejuvenating the efforts of filmmakers to seek ways of producing films that were good enough to make them stay in the industry is thus a positive rather than a negative phenomenon of blockbuster as the defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood. It is even interesting to note that blockbusters do not necessarily have to be of good quality to make profits but there have been newer introductions such as technology backed publicity by the use of social and popular media to ensure that blockbusters sell. The second point that makes the writer take a stand against the idea that blockbuster is a negative defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood is that not much was changed in terms of concept. As a matter of fact, Bordwell (2002, p. 17) argues that in terms of cinematography, production design, editing, storyline and style, nothing much has changed from the post-classical Ho ...Show more
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Summary

The blockbuster is often discussed negatively as the defining characteristic of post-classical Hollywood. To what extent do you agree? Several arguments have gone on why and how the otherwise glooming post-classical Hollywood era ended so suddenly. The arguments and debate have particularly existed because very few were those who thought the reign of the New Hollywood era otherwise known as the post-classical Hollywood would ever end; considering that the era came as a very influential phenomenon in the history of filmmaking in the United States…
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