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Summer Blockbuster Hype

Summer Reading: Is Summer Blockbuster Hype Too Much?

After seeing Tropic Thunder, I felt a teensy bit of relief that the Summer blockbuster events of 2008 seemed to be over at long last. Not that I didn't have fun, but I'm a little maxed out on major hype, epic special effects, and huge box office totals. I'm ready to dig out my warm jackets and sweaters and settle down with some little Fall movie gems.

I'm not alone in this feeling, as Salon's movie critic Stephanie Zacharek describes her own fatigue in a thoughtful piece she wrote this week called "Do You Suffer from Blockbuster Fatigue?" She broaches some interesting topics and makes some good points, including:

  • Zacharek says that "this year the assortment of big Summer movies hasn't been that different from other Summers in recent memory," but she wonders: "So why has the Summer of 2008 seemed exhausting in a way previous Summers haven't?"
  • Here's one excellent point she makes: "The most important element of Summer-blockbuster culture isn't the selling of movies; it's the selling of anticipation, because the amount of time we might spend looking forward to a big Summer movie is almost always longer than the shelf life — in theaters, at least — of the actual movie."
  • Also, did you know the all-important opening weekend summer box office precedent started with Jaws in 1975? Zacharek notes that after that fateful and lucrative summer, Jaws became "the picture to beat, and to emulate." Thus the action-adventure tradition.
  • She concludes her column by accepting that Summer blockbusters that have "great characters, an arresting visual style, and brilliant storytelling" and also draw millions to see them are "rare and elusive." She says fatigue comes when Hollywood tries to repeat a winning formula, like with The Dark Knight. "The minute you try," she writes, "you've already diluted some of the magic."

What do you think? Has the summer of 2008 been overwhelming in hype? Or do you hope blockbuster season gets bigger and better each year?


Join The Conversation
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 9 years
The only movie I've seen this whole summer was "The Dark Knight". I didn't really have a desire to see anything else. I am usually not a "big summer blockbuster movie" type person anyway.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it's all in the nature of studios trying to make more money. they know that the economy is rather crappy right now yet they want to some how manage to make some money - with their films and recoup their spending. i think that there were a lot of movies that were great this summer - that are worth the hype - but there were also a lot that weren't necessarily worth the promotion that i was forced to endure.
elly2004 elly2004 9 years
this year been kind of bad because of the superheroes movies been done so many times
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I thought this year was the best movie year in AGES. I am just so glad to have so many movies that I want to see, and that don't let me down when I see them. Saw Tropic Thunder today and LOVED IT. I'm anxious for fall, but this really was the best summer since like...Jurassic Park or something.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I could care less about the movies, but I am ready for fall to beat this dang heat!
chatondeneige chatondeneige 9 years
I agree. I'm ready for fall!
fashion4ward fashion4ward 9 years
I'm in desperate need of some Oscar-worthy dramas.
tchan01 tchan01 9 years
I totally hear ya buzz. I'm ready for Fall myself.
holysnap holysnap 9 years
Bigger and better babyyy! :robot:
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