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From their beginnings to the present day, B movies have provided opportunities both for those coming up in the profession and others whose careers are waning.
Early B movies were often part of series in which the star repeatedly played the same character.
All established B units to provide films for the expanding second-feature market.
Block booking became standard practice: to get access to a studio's attractive A pictures, many theaters were obliged to rent the company's entire output for a season.
In its current usage, the term has somewhat contradictory connotations: it may signal an opinion that a certain movie is (a) a genre film with minimal artistic ambitions or (b) a lively, energetic film uninhibited by the constraints imposed on more expensive projects and unburdened by the conventions of putatively "serious" independent film.
The term is also now used loosely to refer to some higher-budgeted, mainstream films with exploitation-style content, usually in genres traditionally associated with the B movie.
Even smaller production houses, known as Poverty Row studios, made films whose costs might run as low as $3,000, seeking a profit through whatever bookings they could pick up in the gaps left by the larger concerns.