It’s been 45 years since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws hit theaters and made millions of people afraid to go in the water. While the idea of a blockbuster has evolved in the decades since, there’s no denying the impact the thriller had on how people go to the movies, too. So even though we can’t go to the movies right now, fans still headed online to pay tribute to the movie’s anniversary this weekend.
Jaws was released on June 20, 1975. It was, to put it mildly, a huge success. Even if you haven’t seen it (you should remedy that ASAP if that’s the case), the story is the stuff of legends: killer sharks, small towns, corrupt government, and some very beleaguered men in boats. It’s still a movie many people return to every summer to rewatch, even to this day. Not only did Jaws launch Steven Spielberg into instant cinematic history, it also wound up creating a unique legacy all its own.
In the weeks following Jaws’ release, word of mouth made it a smash success all over the country -- and it wound up not only setting records but redefining how the film industry worked in a lot of ways. So it makes sense that cinephiles would take a moment to mark its anniversary -- and thus, the #Jaws45 hashtag was born on Twitter. Fans used it to commemorate its awesomeness. One fan pointed out some of the most impressive parts of Jaws’ legacy:
Not only was Jaws the first summer blockbuster -- many believe its success led movie studios to push their biggest releases toward the summer, too, creating the summer movie season we’re all familiar with today. Another fan pointed out this achievement, while also calling out its long-lasting legacy as a box office juggernaut:
Several fans were also eager to point out that even though Jaws hit theaters almost a half-century ago, unlike some other movies that haven’t stood the test of time, it actually holds up really well:
And of course, tons of fans used the hashtag to share their favorite GIFs and quotes (“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”) from Jaws. They also shared iconic clips from the movie:
It seems a little strange to celebrate the summer blockbuster in a year when many people may not be going to the movies at all this summer. However, if nothing else, it’s a good reminder of how much fun the communal experience of seeing films in a theater can be. There will be a time when we can line up to go sit in a dark room for a few hours -- and movies like Jaws are proof positive of why that’s more than worth our time.
If you've yet to see Jaws, it's currently available to stream on HBO Max.