Summer Blockbusters: A Formula For Success

We've made the recipe for a perfect blockbuster - with the help of 2012's biggest movies.

As the blockbuster season approaches we thought we’d compile a list of vital ingredients that play a pivotal role in the production of cinema’s biggest films.*

Avengers Captain America

A Dollop of Hollywood’s Biggest Stars

Best 2012 example: Avengers Assemble – they might as well have called it Hollywood assemble, featuring as it does Scarlett Johannsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo as well as Bourne’s replacement Jeremy Renner.

What will draw audiences in more than the famous faces on the movie’s posters? This summer we’re being bombarded with the produce of plenty of cinema’s hottest stars. We’re pretty sure Rihanna wasn’t cast for her acting prowess, after all. Expect to see Michael Fassbender, Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart, Scarlett Johannsen and Tom Hardy at your local cinema this summer.

A Splash of a Famous Director

Best 2012 example: Christopher Nolan

Some names are synonymous with blockbusters. Could Michael Bay ever make an indie film? Sometimes a director’s name is as important as the film’s stars. This year we’re being spoilt, namely with the inclusion of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble being included on film schedules.

Plenty of Explosions

Best 2012 example: Battleship

Thoughtful films can be fun, they can even be pleasant, but they’re not often known for their blockbuster notoriety. When you think of blockbusters we’re sure, like us, you think of big explosions, dramatic car chases and lead characters facing a hell load of peril. Prepare to be bombarded with the above in the trailers that precede the fireworks played out in whatever blockbuster you’re seeing. Which leads us neatly onto…

Some Hype

Best 2012 example: The Amazing Spider-Man

Audiences rarely watch a film that they know little about. When we watch films we go into the cinema with a vague concept of what we’re about to see, thanks largely to the film’s advertising campaigns that include, but are not limited to: trailers, photo calls, video blogs, clips, TV spots, posters, merchandising as well as the general rumours that surround Hollywood.

More Hype

Best 2012 example: The Dark Knight Rises

Hype is so important in the making of a blockbuster that its power cannot be under-estimated. Today we get teasers for trailers and even teasers for these teasers for trailers (we’re looking at you Looper). The whole process can start anything two years before we finally have the finished product to love (or hate), the hype beginning moments after studio execs have signed onto a project.

Lashings of Special Effects

Best 2012 example: Most of this summer’s releases

CGI has become part and parcel of the blockbuster scene. If you want your film to draw the crowds in, it’s going to have to go boom. And convincingly boom at that – audiences are quick to pick up on questionable uses of special effects now, so accustomed are they to the medium thanks to TV’s use of it in various guises in various programmes.

A Handful of Peril

Best 2012 example: Prometheus

A blockbuster cannot hope to survive in the box office if it doesn’t feature some form of threat. This year we’ll watch as Will Smith’s J fights aliens once again, Batman tackles new nemesis Bane, and the crew of Prometheus encounter an alien threat.

And finally…

A Pinch of DeJa Vu

Best 2012 example: Men in Black 3

It sometimes (read here nearly always) helps if your film features characters the audience is familiar with. Be it a sequel, an adaptation, a conglomerate, a prequel, a remake or a re-envisioning, a film will draw the crowds in if it features characters they’re already attached to.

*It should be noted that Roobla has never made a blockbuster, we’ve merely watched most of them.

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