Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 1975

You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

The motion picture “Jaws” was released in the United States on this day.

Jaws created the “summer blockbuster” and forever changed how movies were marketed and released.

Jaws was the first film to successfully use "wide release" as a distribution pattern. As such, it is an important film in the history of film distribution and marketing.[38] Until the release of Jaws, films typically opened slowly, usually in a few theaters in major cities, which allowed for a series of "premieres." As the success of a film increased, and word of mouth grew, distributors would forward the prints to additional cities across the country. Some films eventually achieved a wide release, such as The Godfather, but even that blockbuster had originally debuted in just five theaters.[39]

Jaws was the first film to successfully open nationwide on hundreds of screens simultaneously, coupled with a national marketing campaign—a then-unheard of practice. (A month earlier, Columbia had done the same with a Charles Bronson thriller, Breakout, but the box office was middling at best.) The film became the first to use extensive television advertising.[40] The media blitz "included approximately twenty-five thirty-second advertisements per night on prime-time network TV" between 18–20 June 1975.[38] Universal executive Sidney Sheinberg's rationale was that nationwide marketing costs would be amortized at a more favorable rate per print than if a slow, scaled release were carried out. Sheinberg's gamble paid off, with Jaws becoming a box office smash hit and the father of the summer blockbuster.[41][42

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