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Distributors and film critics: does it take two to Tango?

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  • S. Ravid

    ()

  • John Wald

    ()

  • Suman Basuroy

    ()

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    Abstract

    Previous literature has documented the impact of critics on audience choices of movies. We investigate three issues regarding professional critics in the motion picture industry. First we document whether and to what extent critics and their recommendations exhibit a statistical bias toward specific studios. We show that reviews by a number of critics are significantly affected by the film distributor’s identity. A second question is whether audiences are able to distinguish between biased and unbiased critics. We cannot support the view that audiences put less weight on the views of biased critics; in fact, they may listen to them more. Third, we try to characterize critics who are more prone to bias. Surprisingly, but in accord with reputation models, we find that more reputable critics may be more biased; in particular, critics based in L.A. tend to significantly prefer specific studios. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 201-218

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:30:y:2006:i:3:p:201-218

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100284

    Related research

    Keywords: Critics; Bias; Motion picture; Reputation;

    References

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    1. Christie, William G & Schultz, Paul H, 1994. " Why Do NASDAQ Market Makers Avoid Odd-Eighth Quotes?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1813-40, December.
    2. Arthur De Vany & W. David Walls, 2002. "Does Hollywood Make Too Many R-Rated Movies? Risk, Stochastic Dominance, and the Illusion of Expectation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 425-452, July.
    3. C. Edward Fee, 2002. "The Costs of Outside Equity Control: Evidence from Motion Picture Financing Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 681-712, October.
    4. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts In The Presence Of Career Concerns: Theory And Evidence," Working papers 563, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1995. "Corporate Conservatism and Relative Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25, February.
    6. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
    7. Narasimhan Jegadeesh & Joonghyuk Kim & Susan D. Krische & Charles M. C. Lee, 2004. "Analyzing the Analysts: When Do Recommendations Add Value?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1083-1124, 06.
    8. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
    9. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    10. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-86.
    11. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Do ADS Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 197-227, 02.
    12. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
    13. Holbrook, Morris B, 1999. " Popular Appeal versus Expert Judgments of Motion Pictures," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 144-55, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fowdur, Lona & Kadiyali, Vrinda & Prince, Jeffrey, 2012. "Racial bias in expert quality assessment: A study of newspaper movie reviews," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 292-307.
    2. Brinja Meiseberg & Thomas Ehrmann, 2013. "Diversity in teams and the success of cultural products," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 61-86, February.
    3. Jordi McKenzie, 2010. "Do 'African American' films perform better or worse at the box office? An empirical analysis of motion picture revenues and profits," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(16), pages 1559-1564.
    4. Jose Ignacio Azuela Flores & Victor Fernandez-Blanco & Maria Jose Sanzo-Perez, 2012. "Movie reviews: Who are the readers?," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-03-2012, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised May 2012.
    5. Jordi McKenzie, 2009. "Revealed word-of-mouth demand and adaptive supply: survival of motion pictures at the Australian box office," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 279-299, November.
    6. Jordi McKenzie, 2010. "How do theatrical box office revenues affect DVD retail sales? Australian empirical evidence," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 159-179, August.
    7. Frederick Derrick & Nancy Williams & Charles Scott, 2014. "A two-stage proxy variable approach to estimating movie box office receipts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 173-189, May.
    8. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau & André Marchand & Barbara Hiller, 2012. "The relationship between reviewer judgments and motion picture success: re-analysis and extension," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 249-283, August.
    9. Azuela Flores José Ignacio & Fernandez Blanco Víctor & Sanzo Pérez María José, 2012. "The effects of critics reviews on movie demand," Contaduría y Administración:Revista Internacional, Accounting and Management: International Journal, vol. 57(2), pages 201-222, abril-jun.

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