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To Review or Not to Review? Limited Strategic Thinking at the Movie Box Office

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  • Alexander L. Brown
  • Colin F. Camerer
  • Dan Lovallo

Abstract

Film studios occasionally withhold movies from critics before their release. These cold openings provide a natural setting to apply laboratory-developed models of limited strategic thinking to the field. In a set of 1,303 widely released movies, cold opening is correlated with a 10-30 percent increase in domestic box-office revenue, and a pattern of fan disappointment, consistent with the hypothesis that some moviegoers do not infer low quality from cold opening. While selection and endogeneity may play a role in these regressions, the full pattern of results is consistent with level-k and cognitive hierarchy behavioral-game-theoretic models. (JEL D12, D82, L82, M37)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:1-26

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.2.1
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Cited by:
  1. Brocas, Isabelle & Camerer, Colin & Carrillo, Juan D & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "Measuring attention and strategic behavior in games with private information," CEPR Discussion Papers 7529, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2013. "Structural Models of Nonequilibrium Strategic Thinking: Theory, Evidence, and Applications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 5-62, March.
  3. Ellingsen, Tore & Östling, Robert, 2007. "When Does Communication Improve Coordination?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 680, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 19 Jun 2008.
  4. Nick Vikander, 2014. "Sellouts, Beliefs, and Bandwagon Behavior," Discussion Papers 14-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Sotiris Georganas & Paul J. Healy & Roberto A. Weber, 2014. "On the Persistence of Strategic Sophistication," CESifo Working Paper Series 4653, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Hu, Yingyao & Kayaba, Yutaka & Shum, Matthew, 2013. "Nonparametric learning rules from bandit experiments: The eyes have it!," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 215-231.
  7. Wang, Zhongmin & Xu, Minbo, 2013. "Selling a Dollar for More Than a Dollar? Evidence from Online Penny Auctions," Discussion Papers dp-13-15, Resources For the Future.
  8. Avi Goldfarb & Teck-Hua Ho & Wilfred Amaldoss & Alexander Brown & Yan Chen & Tony Cui & Alberto Galasso & Tanjim Hossain & Ming Hsu & Noah Lim & Mo Xiao & Botao Yang, 2012. "Behavioral models of managerial decision-making," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 405-421, June.

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