1980-Present Essay 1

| July 27, 2015

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Consider the box office performance of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE) in light of the prediction below found in the industry journal Variety. Using Thomas Schatz’s elaboration of the production-distribution-exhibition cycle of Hollywood blockbusters, assess whether CE conforms to the same pattern. Feel free to compare CE with Star Wars and Jaws, the two major examples Schatz employs in his article. For box office records, you should consult: http://boxofficemojo.com. 

“Breakeven on the film, including marketing costs, is in the area of about $30,000,000 in world rentals, which is a certainty. Between that rental range and the farther limits previously achieved by less than a dozen films, no prudent person can properly venture a guess until a picture begins to actually perform, because the orders of magnitude are too great, not unlike the extra terrestrial story elements embodied in “Close Encounters” itself. If the film grosses $50,000,000 or $60,000,000 or $100,000,000 or more in world rentals, it will have succeeded at all those levels. The danger in these mega-rental ranges is that nobody yet can tell upfront where a film will ultimately burn out.” (A. D. Murphy, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Variety 8 Nov. 1977. 

 

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