Everybody has a preconceived notion of what a blockbuster is. We typically think of blockbusters as high-budget, spectacle-driven movies with lots of special effects that are often a part of larger franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, or The Fast and the Furious. These movies typically enjoy huge opening weekends at the box office because they are released during the summer. However, occasionally unanticipated blockbusters appear and take us by surprise at the box office.
These movies might not have the budget of a superhero movie or an all-star cast, but they succeed at the box office thanks to strong word of mouth, amazing reviews, or unanticipated buzz. Below we are going to examine these surprise blockbusters for this list, as well as why they were unexpected and how they got to be blockbusters. The movies we picked were underdogs when it came to boxing office success, but they ended up becoming cultural phenomena and raked in over $100 million in their respective release years.
Today's moviegoers find it absurd that Star Wars would not be a box office smash. Still, when the original movie debuted in theatres in 1977, director George Lucas skipped the premiere because he believed it wouldn't be all that big of a deal. Early in his career, Lucas received $11 million to develop a science fiction movie about resolving conflicts with lightsabre action. To everyone's amazement, the movie made $1.5 million at its first weekend, and its popularity skyrocketed. Star Wars made $307 million over its first 18 months of release; the rest is history. The first movie in the hugely successful trilogy is currently the second-highest-grossing film.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
When the first teaser for Rise of the Planet of the Apes debuted, it seemed like an intriguing fresh spin on the series, concentrating on the events leading up to the point when apes gained control. It lived up to its promise of being fascinating. Caesar was transformed in the movie into a fully sympathetic figure who fans wanted to follow for two more movies. Additionally, it assisted in reviving a series that appeared to be dead following Tim Burton's disastrous remake. The best game in the entire franchise is undoubtedly Rise.
We often overlook how revolutionary Jaws was when it debuted in the summer of 1975. It was director Steven Spielberg's second movie, and he was tasked with adapting a best-selling book for the screen. Despite a difficult production that saw the movie run over budget and encounter numerous technical difficulties, its popularity would establish Spielberg as one of Hollywood's top directors and eventually become the most prosperous director of all time.
But more significantly, Jaws created the concept of a blockbuster. People lined up around the block to witness a shark attack beachgoers (thus the name "blockbuster"). The movie's $7 million opening weekend would grow to nearly $500 million in worldwide box office receipts, making it the first to do so. Nobody anticipated that Jaws would become as popular as it did or perhaps change the way we watch movies.