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A Puzzle or a Choice: Uniform Pricing for Motion Pictures at the Box

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  • Chien-Ping Chen

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Abstract

Consumer differentiated preferences over movies make the uniform pricing regime at the box office a puzzle in the motion picture business. This paper explores the nature of price rigidity at the current uniform price. It concludes that the high profit mark-up from concession sales helps to retain uniform pricing as the optimal choice for exhibitors, without distributors’ condemned intervention. Unless many successful event movies are expected, tiered pricing over regular and event movies will not benefit either exhibitors or distributors. The criteria for exhibitors to favor tiered pricing and the distributors’ choices to eliminate the agency problem are also developed. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2009

Suggested Citation

  • Chien-Ping Chen, 2009. "A Puzzle or a Choice: Uniform Pricing for Motion Pictures at the Box," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(1), pages 73-85, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:73-85
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-008-9153-7
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-008-9153-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orbach, Barak Y. & Einav, Liran, 2007. "Uniform prices for differentiated goods: The case of the movie-theater industry," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 129-153.
    2. W. Walls, 2005. "Modeling Movie Success When ‘Nobody Knows Anything’: Conditional Stable-Distribution Analysis Of Film Returns," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(3), pages 177-190, August.
    3. Locay, Luis & Rodriguez, Alvaro, 1992. "Price Discrimination in Competitive Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 954-965, October.
    4. Barak Orbach, "undated". "Antitrust and Pricing in the Motion Picture Industry," University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics Working Paper Series umichlwps-1009, University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics.
    5. Whitney, James D, 1988. "Winning Games versus Winning Championships: The Economics of Fan Interest and Team Performance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 703-724, October.
    6. Daniel R. Marburger, 1997. "Optimal ticket pricing for performance goods," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 375-381.
    7. De Vany, Arthur & Lee, Cassey, 2001. "Quality signals in information cascades and the dynamics of the distribution of motion picture box office revenues," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 593-614, March.
    8. Cheung, Steven N S, 1977. "Why Are Better Seats "Underpriced?"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 513-522, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Böhme Enrico & Müller Christopher, 2011. "Searching for the Concentration-Price Effect in the German Movie Theater Industry," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 479-493, August.
    2. Chung, Hoe Sang, 2015. "A Note On Uniform Pricing In The Motion-Picture Industry," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 56(2), pages 231-242, December.
    3. Catherine Gendron-Saulnier & Marc Santugini, 2013. "Noisy Learning and Price Discrimination: Implications for Information Dissemination and Profits," Cahiers de recherche 1335, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entertainment; Pricing; Agency problem; D21; L60;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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