Screen epics

Forty years ago, the movie Jaws was released. It terrified beachgoers and is widely celebrated as the first summer blockbuster. Here’s to four decades of summer cinema.

5: Weeks actor Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly before being replaced by Michael J. Fox in the lead role of the 1985 film Back to the Future.

40: Theatres originally screening Star Wars upon its release in 1977. Produced for US$11 million, it would gross an estimated US$775 million worldwide at the box office.

100: Millions of US dollars in estimated losses for 2013 “blockbuster” The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp. According to Time magazine, the season lasts four months and “summer blockbuster fatigue” arrived in early July.

207: Millions of US dollars in box office receipts for the record opening weekend of marvel’s The Avengers in 2012. This summer, Avengers: Age of Ultron raked in a second-best US$191 million.

287: Number of critics’ top-10 lists that 2008 movie The Dark Knight was featured on. The second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, the movie earned more than US$1 billion.

1,000: Items licensed under 100 agreements with the filmmakers of Jurassic Park. Author Michael Crichton earned US$2 million from the screen treatment of his original book.

700,000: US dollars spent to promote Jaws in 1975. “The release of the film was deliberately delayed till people were in the water off the summer beach resorts,” said Jaws producer David Brown.

About the Author

Steve Brearton


Steve Brearton is a freelance writer in Toronto.

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