The digital publication of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Dimensions, May/June 2006—Blockbusters: Asset or Liability


May/June 2006

What have science centers learned in the past decade about the effect of blockbusters, those wildly popular traveling exhibitions and large-format films that drive attendance and inspire media “buzz”? Do blockbusters help museums reach broader audiences, increase visibility in the community, grow membership? Is the boost in income and attendance worth the time, expense, and trouble? In this issue, we examine what the blockbuster phenomenon tells us about our field and consider some future directions for exhibitions and films.

In Search of New Audiences: Blockbusters and Beyond, by Sheila Grinell
• Extending the Brand: The Body Worlds Effect, by Jeff Rudolph
• A Certain Alchemy: The Blockbuster Strategy at La Cité, by Brigitte Coutant and Marc Girard
• The First Blockbuster: King Tut’s Legacy, by Marjorie Schwarzer
• Entertaining Ideas: The Role of DMR Films in Museum Theaters, by Greg Brown
• Perception Busters: Promoting the Science Museum of the Future, by Heather Mayfield
• Building a Blockbuster: The Science of Super Heroes, by Grant Troop and Nicola Lisus
• The Littlest Blockbuster, by Carolyn Sutterfield
• The Attendance Treadmill: Best Gauge of Science Center Fitness?, Emlyn Koster

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