Rather than being opened in only a few theatres and then more and more as it succeeded, Jaws was opened in many theatres at once. And it was the first film to be supported by extensive advertising. And it worked. And it was the first Blockbuster. And it is interesting to ponder (like Pooh) on how the blockbuster style has influenced publishing (though no where near to the extent it's influenced Hollywood). It's getting to be a case of sell big or don't sell at all. People are reading more of fewer books. Though curiously publishing output hasn't shrunk. And of course out goes the successful mid-list author for the big publishers, which gives the independents opportunities.
Tom Shones's Blockbuster is worth a read by anybody in publishing I reckon. And it comes with a neat subtitle: How Hollywood learned to stop worrying and love the summer.