Blockbuster Cinema: Hollywood’s Obsession with Low Risk

Blockbuster Cinema: Hollywood’s Obsession with Low Risk
McMahon, James. (2015). Presentation at York University. 3 November. (Lecture / Presentation; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

Hollywood is obsessed with blockbusters – for 20 years the major studios have been making them, and it appears that blockbuster cinema will be with us for many years to come. This presentation will theoretically and empirically explain how blockbusters, and the associated business strategies that surround them, serve Hollywood’s financial goals. The key to blockbusters is that they allow major studios to reduce their risk. The revenues of designed-to-be blockbusters rarely fall below expectations, making the world of cinema increasingly predictable. Moreover, this predictability affects how the film business controls the social creativity of filmmakers and, indirectly, the behaviour of consumers.


James McMahon is a PhD student at the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought, York University (

This presentation is the third in the Second Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power, organized by and sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought.

Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 3:00-5:00 pm
WHERE: Verney Room, 674 South Ross, Keele Campus of York University



Publication Type

Lecture / Presentation


differential accumulation culture Hollywood risk


BN Methodology
BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Culture
BN Distribution
BN Ideology
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

28 Oct 2015 03:42

Last Modified

28 Oct 2015 03:42


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