Why Was 2015 the Year of the Blockbuster?

taylor-swift-adele-star-wars-viewsAs everyone reads about how Star Wars closed out the biggest global opening in history (even accounting for inflation), it’s interesting and important to consider why 2015 was– in many ways– the year of the blockbuster.

Star Wars
Jurassic World
Adele
Taylor
These blockbusters aren’t just big for this year; they are all among the biggest hits in history for otherwise besieged industries.
As we talk about the atomization of media and content, the opposite end of the spectrum seems to be happening in a bigger way than ever.

Now, it’s not news that in industries like music and movies, the success of a very few number of blockbusters drives virtually all of the profitability of these industries.  There have been books written about how the only sane business strategy in these industries is to shoot for these big hits.

And it’s not news how multiple revenue streams depend on these blockbusters; the business model of Disney that was drawn in 1957 is still largely intact.
What is news, and what asks to be answered, is why– right now– blockbusters are bigger than ever.
Is it that the internet, just as it enables a higher degree of personalization than ever, also creates a “can’t miss out” network effect that makes these global water cooler moments more compelling than ever?  Perhaps.
Is it that, on some deeper sociological level, that while we fall deeper and deeper into our smart phone cocoons, we yearn for cultural entities like these that can bring us all together?  Perhaps.
With a six-week old daughter in the mix, it’s not terribly realistic for me to promise that now is the time for me to get back to writing more frequently.  But, for a variety of reasons, the reasons behind the year of the blockbuster are important to me.  So I’ll be back soon (probably) with more thoughts on this.

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