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Blockbuster was the name of the largest conventional bomb used in World War II by the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force. Each blockbuster had the explosive force of twenty thousand tons of TNT. The name was given because a "Blockbuster" was capable of destroying an entire city block.

The phrase "blockbuster" later came to mean an expensively produced motion picture which was expected to be a box-office "smash". Later it came to indicate any particularly financially sucessful film. This is an example of theater slang that often talks about success in violent metaphors. A big budget Hollywood movies with famous stars are likely to be called a "blockbuster".

Blockbuster also the name of the biggest chain of video tape and DVD rental shops in North America, with shops in countries like Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.

Blockbusters was also the name of an NBC daytime quiz show, broadcast from 1980 to 1982. The ITV children's quiz show of the same name, broadcast from 1983-1993, followed the same format.

See also: DVD rental, Hollywood movie

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