Mapping International Blockbusters

This research task focuses on mapping social “ecosystem” of ACMI by looking at its global engagements with international museums, audiences and cultural institutions through traveling blockbusters. The research covers two famous ACMI blockbusters that went global: Game Masters (2012-2020) and DreamWorks Animation (2015-2020).

Since 2012, ACMI famous exhibition Game Masters has traveled around the world. This is as a highly interactive video game exhibition, featuring the work  of the most popular video game designers around the world. The exhibition traveled to different countries and was hosted by such museums as Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Halmstad Arena in Sweden, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, USA, to name just some of them.

Starting in 2015, ACMI  has implemented a series of blockbuster exhibits across Asia-Pacific in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. The Exhibition features “over 400 items including rare and never-before-seen concept drawings, models and original artworks, interviews and interactive displays from DreamWorks much-loved and favorite animated classics.” The DreamWorks blockbuster has become a very popular traveling exhibition in Asia that was hosted by a number of museums, such as ArtScience Museum in Singapore, Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea and National Taiwan Science and Education Centre, in Taiwan.

In each specific location the exhibition both of these two exhibits attracted different amounts of audiences and generated different economic revenue. The research aims to explore how the ACMI traveling blockbuster was received in each of the hosting places by measuring the “attraction” power of Game Masters and DreamWorks Animation blockbustersin each place and comparing results. This project identifies crucial factors that affect the ACMI’s capacity to attract international audiences in different places and explains how local environments in different cities shape the ACMI’s global brand recognition.