A Surprising Musical Romantic Comedy Is America’s Favorite Summer Blockbuster Of All Time
The summer blockbuster has been a staple of American film culture for 40 years. For a while, the pandemic scared off most would-be moviegoers from theaters. But the remarkable success of Top Gun: Maverick shows that people were waiting for an excuse to come back.
Jaws is commonly referred to as the first true blockbuster. But the definition has evolved as film industry movie preferences change and the proliferation of streaming services makes it easier to watch content from the comfort of your own home.
A recent study used historical data to determine which genres are likely to bring people to theaters, how COVID-19 has changed things for many fans, and which movie is the most popular blockbuster of all time.
Data shows nothing gets people to the movies like a show
In July, Preply published a report on American blockbuster habits since 1975. To obtain the data, the site surveyed 1,001 diverse Americans (the group was made up of 49% men, 49% women and 2% non-binary) in early June. The company used Google AdWords to see search volume for 2022 movie releases on streamers or theaters. It sifted through search data for 100 of the top summer blockbusters during the chosen time period.
The past two years have weighed on some people’s desire to go out and see a movie. Of those surveyed, 61% said they were seeing fewer movies in theaters than before the pandemic; 63% said the rising cost of tickets and snacks kept them away, and 50% cited security issues. Among the group of people who prefer to stay home, 43% said they did so because the movies they want to see are available to stream immediately or shortly after their theatrical release.
The ease of watching something on Netflix or Hulu is obvious. But some films demand to be seen on the biggest screen possible. According to the study, the movies Americans most want to see on the big screen are action (69%) and science fiction (53%). It is easy to understand why. The larger screen and massive sound system allow fans to fully appreciate the cinematography that made movies like maverick and Nope so nice this summer.
Audiences seem to understand that these films are at their best in this format. Preply found that interest in watching action or sci-fi movies was much higher in cinemas than on streaming. The examples they give are that the timetables for The Batman were searched 16 times more than streaming options. Everything everywhere all at once got twice as many searches while it was in theaters.
Blockbusters tend to target young people, and that trend holds true in 2022. Gen Z is most likely to see new movies in theaters; 53% of them cite the possibility of leaving their home as the main reason.
The most popular summer blockbuster does not adhere to any of the trends in modern theater
Preply’s data also allowed them to see which blockbusters are most popular in each state. Despite all the evidence from past data, the most timelessly beloved movie is Fat. The 1978 romantic musical is the #1 picture in 10 states. (Gremlins came in second place with eight states ranking it as the best blockbuster of the summer.)
Fat was a cultural phenomenon when it was first released. Generally well received by critics, it was the highest-grossing live musical in the United States until 2017. But Fat feels attached the moment it came out, and it doesn’t have as much relevance in modern times.
Looking across the country, 18 of each state’s biggest movies are classified as comedies; 17 other states consider their favorites to be action/sci-fi movies, with Batman and Iron Man being the most popular. It should be noted that these labels have limitations to their usefulness. movies like ghost hunters Where men in black could be listed in several genres.
Different states are attracted to certain movies
Certain state favorites make more sense due to the film’s ties to the region. aliens is the most popular movie in New Mexico. The mythology of Roswell and sightings of aliens in the Land of Enchantment likely have an impact on why it’s much more beloved there than anywhere else. But other states have more direct reasons to pride themselves on certain blockbusters.
Hawaii’s love for jurassic park could be based on the fact that significant parts of the film were shot there. In the same way, Jaws’ Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island’s biggest movie status could be influenced by the movie’s extended shooting schedule on the New England coast. The means may change, but the best blockbusters always have the means to turn into larger-than-life productions. Being seen in a theater for the first time often helps achieve this goal.
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