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The relationship between reviewer judgments and motion picture success: re-analysis and extension

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Author Info

  • Thorsten Hennig-Thurau

    ()

  • André Marchand

    ()

  • Barbara Hiller

    ()

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    Abstract

    The relationship between the judgments of professional reviewers and the economic success of cultural products, such as motion pictures, has been the topic of controversial debates involving both scholars and industry experts. This study builds on previous research that distinguishes an “influencer effect” of reviews from a “predictor effect.” By empirically separating consumers’ and reviewers’ perceptions of movie quality through an auxiliary regression approach (and thus effectively controls for consumers’ quality perceptions), this study advances the discussion by investigating whether and how isolated reviewer quality perceptions are associated with box office results. The authors empirically test a non-linear effect of reviewers’ quality perceptions on box office returns, including a comprehensive investigation of the moderating forces of this relationship, using regression and simple slope analyses. Data from all 1,370 narrative films released in the United States between 1998 and 2006 reveal that though the short-term box office generally is not influenced by isolated reviewer quality perceptions, a non-linear relationship exists between reviews and long-term box office returns, such that films rated highly by reviewers are more strongly influenced than those that are not. In terms of moderators, the authors find evidence for several arthouse and mainstream characteristics to moderate the relationship between isolated reviewer quality perceptions and box office results. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10824-012-9172-8
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 249-283

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:36:y:2012:i:3:p:249-283

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Motion pictures; Professional movie reviews; Experience goods; Creative products; Box office; Mainstream; Art house; Moderation; L82; M31;

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    References

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    1. Peter Boatwright & Suman Basuroy & Wagner Kamakura, 2007. "Reviewing the reviewers: The impact of individual film critics on box office performance," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 401-425, December.
    2. Sanjay Sood & Xavier Drze, 2006. "Brand Extensions of Experiential Goods: Movie Sequel Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 352-360, October.
    3. Caroline Elliott & Rob Simmons, 2008. "Determinants of UK Box Office Success: The Impact of Quality Signals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 93-111, September.
    4. Mohanbir S. Sawhney & Jehoshua Eliashberg, 1996. "A Parsimonious Model for Forecasting Gross Box-Office Revenues of Motion Pictures," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(2), pages 113-131.
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    11. Elberse, Anita & Anand, Bharat, 2007. "The effectiveness of pre-release advertising for motion pictures: An empirical investigation using a simulated market," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 319-343, October.
    12. Morris B. Holbrook & Michela Addis, 2007. "Taste versus the Market: An Extension of Research on the Consumption of Popular Culture," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 415-424, 05.
    13. Stephanie Brewer & Jason Kelley & James Jozefowicz, 2009. "A blueprint for success in the US film industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 589-606.
    14. Ravid, S Abraham, 1999. "Information, Blockbusters, and Stars: A Study of the Film Industry," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(4), pages 463-92, October.
    15. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
    16. De Vany, A. & Walls, W.D., 2000. "Does Hollywood make too many R-Rated Movies? Risk, Stochastic Dominance, and the Illusion of Expectation," Papers 99-00-24, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    17. Christian Jansen, 2005. "The Performance of German Motion Pictures, Profits and Subsidies: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 191-212, August.
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