On This Day…


June 20, 1975

Jaws, the movie that terrified us of the deep, is released. Reduced beach attendance in 1975 was attributed to this movie. Jaws also established the tradition of the summer blockbuster action movie and changed the way movies were marketed. Previously, movies were released only in several markets and then slowly released across the country as support for the movie grew. Jaws changed that by opening in hundreds of theaters backed by massive TV advertising. A desire for a quick return in profits led other movies to soon follow suit. It was originally intended to have more shark scenes, but the mechanical shark kept malfunctioning, so director Steven Spielberg chose to simply suggest the shark’s presence while playing ominous music. It was based on the book by Peter Benchley and in 1978 became the first laserdisc movie released in North America.