What’s Better: A Blockbuster or a Cult Classic?

What’s Better: A Blockbuster or a Cult Classic?

What’s Better: A Blockbuster or a Cult Classic?

So what is it that makes a blockbuster, or a cult classic? Can they be the same? It is possible, but it’s not something that happens all the time since many movies either make it big at the box office or they don’t. There is a middle ground, but quite often it’s the place that movies go to stagnate before they become cult classics, or are nearly forgotten. A lot of cult classics are movies that were thought to be great at one time by the fans, and are still given that same respect later on, but didn’t turn a huge profit at the box office. Blockbusters are often remembered fondly for their heavy impact and how they either shocked or titillated the world, and some of them are still as powerful now as they used to be. But a lot of blockbusters haven’t held up over the years, while cult classics, actual classics that have been building in popularity for a while, are still around and are still loved by a lot of fans, not to mention the critics that sometimes finally come around to realize how great a movie really is. 

When trying to determine which is better, a blockbuster or a cult classic, many people would likely be torn on the subject since the fact is that it’s hard to say one way or the other that either is better, since the entertainment value is great enough that people don’t really want to choose. Speaking from an analytical standpoint though, cult classics tend to have a bit more longevity than the average blockbuster since they kind of have to be noticed again. It’s possible that later on down the line when it’s been forgotten and on shelves for long enough, a blockbuster could become a cult classic. But the average line of thought is that a cult classic is something that’s been nearly forgotten by all but the most diehard fans and a few critics that might have championed the movie back in the day. In this estimation, a cult classic is a little stronger since it’s like the forgotten kid on the playground that has a lot of great qualities but less of the flash and pomp that the popular kids do. 

But the thing about a cult classic is that it has that kind of potential locked in the movie, it just needs people to see it. I know that sounds corny as Kansas on the 4th of July, as the saying goes, but it’s a true statement. Recognizing greatness is more than just a few fans pulling for their favorite movie when it comes to stating that it has qualities that are good enough to be considered redeeming. A cult classic is like a slow-burn movie that takes a while to get going. While it might be fully appreciated by a lot of people, it might not make the kind of money that’s required to call it a blockbuster. That feels wildly unfair that the amount of money pulled in might affect a movie’s status, but in the business that is Hollywood, numbers do matter, and those movies that bring in the dollars are often called the blockbusters, and those that don’t are either flops or mediocre and could be headed for cult status or the shelf at one point or another. 

It’s easier to call a movie a blockbuster when it sells out or makes an insane amount of money because it’s obvious that people loved it and wanted to hold it up, right? That’s the case sometimes, but other times it’s easier to say that people were curious enough to make their way to the theater thanks to the hype given to the movie by the trailers. There are plenty of instances when a blockbuster made a great deal of money but was panned by critics and given the thumbs down by fans. These movies tend to get forgotten for a reason, but cult classic movies are often those that were popular enough but didn’t generate the numbers to turn them into mega hits. I might be way off base, but cult classics are those that generated initial interest, but without a proper level of understanding from the fans. Ghostbusters is a great example since it was thought to be a horror movie, but then people wound up laughing their butts off. 

When trying to determine which is more popular though, a cult classic or blockbuster, it’s easier to state that people are going to love both since each type of movie gives the public a different feeling when all is said and done. A cult classic is a nostalgic look at cinema when it was far different most times, while a blockbuster is in your face in the here and now, and tends to lose some of its luster over time. When selecting which one is best, it’s usually better to leave this up to the individual. 

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