Prices will always change due to inflation/deflation. I think to tell if you have a true blockbuster on your hands is according to how many people see it. 50 million? 50 million seems like a good number. Um... actually, lets go with 100 million. That number looks better. So, yeah, if you get 100 million people to see your movie I think you have a blockbuster on your hands.
If it's based on $ receipts, then it'll change through time because movie prices are so different several decades ago compared to present. I think it should be based on the number of people (so gross receipts/current tix price) who have watched it.
From a non-technical point of view, I think a movie is a blockbuster once everyone else is talking about it (facebook/twitter chatter) or when they start making merchandise about it and people actually buy them, or when they become featured freebies of McDonald's happy meals. :lol:
a2: anything with an immense budget, lucrative story, and the probability of cashing in, in the billions. Something for 'all the family', something glitzy, hollywoodised (or bastardised, whichever way you see it).
It is big and brazen, bristled with explosions, car chases, tender frolicks, emotion, cheeky flirting and friction, stupid one-liners, idiotic bad guys, an easily spottable twist, a rip-off of something else, a stereotypical cast, a bunch of A-listers, A bunch of 'cream-of-the-crop-at-the-moment-stars,' Shia LebBeouf, anyone?
There must be startling special effects that look 'so real' that they actually don't. Your eardrums bleed in the cinema, because big chunks of debris falling off a wall always make that enormous, deafening crackling noise, doesn't it? It must be laudable and ridiculous at the same time it seems. They are a strange phenomena, and attract audiences like cow pats do flies.
I think a film with this sort of tone can be considered a blockbuster. Anything high scale, ambitious and high priced.
When it becomes a household name. That kind of goes along with kithendame's merchandise explanation. Just because a movie has a huge budget doesn't make it a blockbuster, but if it makes a ton of money, then it is.
There are certain movies that I'd consider blockbusters even before they are released though. Any big sequel, for example, or even something like Avatar that was set out to win from the getgo. Sometimes you just know a movie is going to go bigtime.