Google the word Blockbuster and the search engine refers to its meaning as being a film or a book that enjoys / has enjoyed immense commercial success. However, any true movie-lover will be quick to tell you that there is a definite culture behind the word, and that really, it refers to the magic of film.
The word may have originated from the 70’s when the trend first started, but it was during the 80’s that it started to really stick with audiences. From the 80’s, and onwards, studios started to realise the value of target markets, and more specifically, younger target markets that didn’t as yet have access to things like the Internet, and needed entertaining. Summer became a thing and the market demanded something to define its meaning. And so, the studios gave the people what the people wanted: Dirty Dancing, Back To The Future, WarGames.
We rank the 5 best Blockbuster movies of the 1980’s.
Top Gun – 1986
Talk about entertainment and young adult romance meets conspiracy theories. Apart from the rumours that did the rounds during those years that this was a fast and clever ploy by the US Navy to make recruitment and signing up sound, well, cool, Top Gun was also responsible for catapulting Tom Cruise to absolute stardom. It was energetic; it was far ahead of its years in terms of movie-making prowess (all hail Tony Scott) and most of all, it was (it is!) memorable.
Three Men and A Baby – 1987
What do you get when you combine a loveable, slightly effeminate, theme with three hunky actors who would most probably have been a great deal more comfortable playing in a modern-day Marvel production?
Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson. The premise may be somewhat odd, but then again, this 80’s classic did make more than 10 times its production budget during its cinema run.
Batman – 1989
Speaking of Marvel and superheroes, no list would ever get anywhere near to being complete without mentioning everyone’s favourite childhood superhero classic, Batman.
Yes, many sequels and remakes have seen the light over the years, and yes, many of them were hailed to be the best Batman film ever made, but it was the 1989 version by Tim Burton that won our wicked little hearts and made us fall in love with the idea of a superhero all over again.
The caped crusader has since appeared everywhere from on the reels of pokies online to video games, but the 1989 movie remains a favourite.
Back to The Future – 1985
This one paid homage to science fiction and the need to save humanity, and of course, the very life of Marty McFly.
Yes, it may not have been science fiction as we know it today, but futuristically speaking, it truly was ahead of its time. Of course, it had all the winning elements of a great sci-fi Blockbuster: a very unlikely friendship, an eccentric scientist, and an over-eager teenager defying all that we know about teenagedom.
Die Hard – 1988
As much as what Back To The Future defined sci-fi and futuristic explorations, Die Hard was the solid foundation on which everything Action was created, going forward, and it was not the flop many thought it would be.
Simply put, its everyone’s favourite human-hero situation: the lone, good-looking, against-the-grain protagonist faces off with a team of super-human villains – and wins. Die Hard is to be found in every feel-good action film that followed in its mighty footsteps.