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Why Hit Movies Are Called Blockbusters

The word "blockbuster" changes meaning

In the pages of TIME, blockbuster was used to describe surprising news. In 1943, TIME used the word to describe a movie. The critics called the film adaptation of Mission to Moscow "as explosive as a blockbuster."

Not long after, the word started to refer specifically to movies that were commercially successful. The word became associated primarily with popular entertainment in general and with the big-budget, high-impact Hollywood hits.

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The place where Hollywood stands today was initially just plains and hills with just a small hut, in the year 1853, eventually becoming an agricultural community called Cahuenga Valley. Harvey Henry, a politician and real estate developer purchased a large piece of the future ‘Hollywood’ for a ranch and ended up using it as a township of upscale homes. In a couple of decades, the place had markets, hotels and other commercial establishments.

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