The term blockbuster dates back to World War II, and originally had a very literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the word blockbuster, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A blockbuster is something that is powerful, exciting, immense and successful. Most often, blockbuster is used to describe a movie. The word blockbuster has its origin in World War II, when it was used to describe a powerful, high-explosive bomb capable of destroying large areas. Within a few years of the first use of the term to mean a certain type of bomb, the word blockbuster was used to describe other powerful things such as sports teams and hail storms. In 1954, a United Artists executive named Max E. Youngstein used the expression block-buster to describe movies that grossed over two million dollars. Note that blockbuster is a compound word, and has evolved from a hyphenated word to an unhyphenated word within a relatively short time. In the United States, blockbuster is most often associated with a mostly defunct home movie rental business, named Blockbuster Video. Blockbuster Video once stretched across the country, consisting of over nine thousand stores. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and currently is made up of ten stores in Alaska, Texas and Oregon.


The Portland-Nova Scotia ferry carried more passengers in 2017 than it did the year before, but an engine failure disrupted its sailing schedule and dimmed expectations of a blockbuster season. (The Press Herald)

This match up is set to be the blockbuster in a huge weekend of basketball. (The Toowoomba Chronicle)

The Supreme Court on Friday scheduled oral arguments in three blockbuster cases for just before the justices leave for December holidays. (The Washington Examiner)