A Harvard Professor Knows Why the Bloated Blockbuster Will Never Die

The cast of Star Trek Into Darkness, from left: Chris Pine as Kirk, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto as Spock Photograph by Zade Rosenthal/Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection

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On a recent Monday morning, professor Anita Elberse ambled into her office at the Harvard Business School. An electric guitar signed by the members of Maroon 5 rests in the corner, a few Spider-Man action figures lay scattered on a bookshelf nearby, and a jersey for the Netherlands national soccer team hangs on the wall. Not long ago, as part of her research for academe, Elberse interviewed Alex Ferguson, the mercurial manager of Manchester United, who once, in a fit of locker room anger, allegedly kicked a shoe into David Beckham’s award-winning face.

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