The cinema of the ‘United States’, often metonymously referred to as ‘Hollywood’, has had a large effect on the film industry in general since the early ’20th century’. The dominant style of American cinema is ‘classical Hollywood cinema’, which developed from (1917) to (1960) and characterizes most films made there to this day. While ‘Frenchmen Auguste’ and ‘Louis Lumière’ are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, ‘American cinema’ soon came to be a dominant force in the industry as it emerged. It produces the third largest number of films of any single-language national cinema, with more than 600 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the ‘United Kingdom’ (299), Canada (206), Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not considered part of the ‘Hollywood’ system. ‘Hollywood’ has also been considered a transnational cinema. ‘Classical Hollywood’ produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary ‘Hollywood’ offshores production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
‘Hollywood’ is considered the birthplace of various genres of cinema—among them comedy, drama, action, the musical, romance, horror, science fiction, and the war epic—having set an example for other national film industries.
In (1878), Eadweard Muybridge demonstrated the power of photography to capture motion. In (1894), the world’s first commercial motion-picture exhibition was given in ‘New York City’, using ‘Thomas Edison’ ‘kinetoscope’. The ‘United States’ produced the world’s first sync-sound musical film, ‘The Jazz Singer’, in (1927), and was at the forefront of sound-film development in the following decades. Since the early ’20th century’, the US film industry has largely been based in and around the 30 Mile Zone in ‘Hollywood’, ‘Los Angeles’, ‘California’. Director ‘D.W. Griffith’ was central to the development of a film grammar. ‘Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ (1941) is frequently cited in critics polls as the greatest film of all time.
The major film studios of ‘Hollywood’ are the primary source of the most commercially successful and most ticket selling movies in the world, such as The ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1915), ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939), ‘The Sound of Music’ (1965), ‘The Godfather’ (1972), ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘Star Wars’ (1977), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), ‘Titanic’ (1997), and ‘Avatar’ (2009). Moreover, many of ‘Hollywood’ highest-grossing movies have generated more box-office revenue and ticket sales outside the ‘United States’ than films made elsewhere. Today, ‘American’ film studios collectively generate several hundred movies every year, making the ‘United States’ one of the most prolific producers of films in the world and a leading pioneer in motion picture engineering and technology.