Red & Black

What makes a Blockbuster?

Noah Holt, Staff Reporter

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Movies are great. They can catch your eye and hold your interest for hours. With a lot of films now blowing away everyone, such as Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and even a movie from across the world, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, or movies from unexpected things such as Bumblebee, are getting critical acclaim. Movies are great, but what really makes them great?

Story, look, and hype: the three big things in the success of a blockbuster film. The story needs to flow smoothly with enough excitement and suspense to really keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, while also having enough space in between them so the viewer can properly absorb and not feel overwhelmed or even bored in some cases. Whether cliche done right or a cliche turned on its head, the story has to keep the viewer engaged, or else everything comes off boring, sloppy, and just plain bad.

Look is a good thing too. It goes hand-in-hand with the story as it needs to look good and serve some purpose to the narrative, but also needs to fit the story being told. An example being that in horror films, you usually have silent areas that are really dark before exploding in sound and/or light, or you have areas with artificial light from one or very few sources. It helps set the tone for your film and really helps with the “show don’t tell” aspect of the film.

Finally, hype. This thing is honestly the defining factor for your film. Lots of hype and you can really go either way with a disappointing bombshell or a box office hit. The hype can make or break a movie, with it really depending on the fanbase behind your film, the quality of the trailers and shorts released about the film, how long before a previous instalment or release date, and simply put, the presentation behind the film.

All-in-all, blockbusters are difficult to make and even more difficult to succeed. But, they are really great films that open the doors for cinematic universes, simple sequels, or even just a cult following later on.

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What makes a Blockbuster?