The cinema of the United States, often metonymously referred to as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is Classical Hollywood Cinema, which developed from 1917-1960 and characterizes most films to this day. While the French Lumière Brothers are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, it is American cinema that soon became the most dominant force in an emerging industry. Since the 1920s, the American film industry has grossed more money every year than that of any other country.
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’s Kinetoscope. The United States was in the forefront of sound film development in the following decades. Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Picture City, Florida was also a planned site for a movie picture production center in the 1920s, but due to the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, the idea collapsed and Picture City returned to its original name of Hobe Sound. Director D. W. Griffith was central to the development of film grammar. Orson Welles’s 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 movies in the world, such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Sound of Music (1965), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Titanic (1997), Avatar (2009), The Avengers (2012), Furious 7 (2015), Jurassic World (2015), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). 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.