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The impact of film reviews on the box office performance of art house versus mainstream motion pictures

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  • Gerda Gemser

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  • Martine Oostrum
  • Mark Leenders

Abstract

Critics and their reviews can play an important role in consumer decision making in general, and film choice in particular. In this study, we propose that consumers of art house movies are being led by film reviews when making a film choice (influence effect), whereas consumers of mainstream movies are hypothesized to rely mainly on other sources of information. Thus, in the latter case the review does not influence the moviegoer, but may still be a reflection of the ultimate success of the movie (predictor effect). Using the Dutch film industry as our empirical setting, we study the effects of reviews on the opening weekend and on the cumulative box office revenue. Our research shows that the number and size of film reviews in Dutch newspapers directly influence the behavior of the art-movie-going public in their film choice. The number and size of film reviews of mainstream movies, on the other hand, only predict movie performance. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Gerda Gemser & Martine Oostrum & Mark Leenders, 2007. "The impact of film reviews on the box office performance of art house versus mainstream motion pictures," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(1), pages 43-63, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:43-63
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-006-9025-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anita Elberse & Jehoshua Eliashberg, 2003. "Demand and Supply Dynamics for Sequentially Released Products in International Markets: The Case of Motion Pictures," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(3), pages 329-354.
    2. David A. Reinstein & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "THE INFLUENCE OF EXPERT REVIEWS ON CONSUMER DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCE GOODS: A CASE STUDY OF MOVIE CRITICS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-51, March.
    3. M. Bagella & L. Becchetti, 1999. "The Determinants of Motion Picture Box Office Performance: Evidence from Movies Produced in Italy," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(4), pages 237-256, November.
    4. Arthur De Vany & W. Walls, 1999. "Uncertainty in the Movie Industry: Does Star Power Reduce the Terror of the Box Office?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(4), pages 285-318, November.
    5. Steven Albert, 1998. "Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 22(4), pages 249-270, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Situmeang, Frederik B.I. & Leenders, Mark A.A.M. & Wijnberg, Nachoem M., 2014. "History matters: The impact of reviews and sales of earlier versions of a product on consumer and expert reviews of new editions," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-83.
    2. 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;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 33(4), pages 279-299, November.
    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, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised May 2012.
    5. Jordi McKenzie, 2012. "The Economics Of Movies: A Literature Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 42-70, February.
    6. Jordi McKenzie & W. Walls, 2013. "Australian films at the Australian box office: performance, distribution, and subsidies," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(2), pages 247-269, May.
    7. repec:eee:joreco:v:33:y:2016:i:c:p:72-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Wen-jhan Jane & Wei-peng Chen & Yuan-lin Hsu, 2015. "The impact of deregulation on the movie box office after Taiwan’s entry into the WTO: the difference-in-differences estimation," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 289-308, December.
    9. Brinja Meiseberg & Thomas Ehrmann, 2013. "Diversity in teams and the success of cultural products," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(1), pages 61-86, February.
    10. Marco Caliendo & Michel Clement & Edlira Shehu, 2015. "The effect of individual professional critics on books’ sales: capturing selection biases from observable and unobservable factors," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 423-436, December.
    11. Pawan V. Bhansing & Mark A. A. M. Leenders & Nachoem M. Wijnberg, 2016. "Selection system orientations as an explanation for the differences between dual leaders of the same organization in their perception of organizational performance," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(4), pages 907-933, December.
    12. repec:eee:ijrema:v:33:y:2016:i:2:p:357-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jordi McKenzie, 2010. "How do theatrical box office revenues affect DVD retail sales? Australian empirical evidence," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(3), pages 159-179, August.
    14. repec:eee:ijrema:v:34:y:2017:i:1:p:69-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 36(3), pages 249-283, August.
    16. Moez Hababou & Nawel Amrouche & Kamel Jedidi, 2016. "Measuring Economic Efficiency in the Motion Picture Industry: a Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 3(3), pages 144-158, December.
    17. Peters, Frank, 2018. "The business of video games is a multi-player game : Essays on governance choices and performance in a two-sided market in the cultural industries," Other publications TiSEM 886b3148-4bbb-4ea4-b666-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. Joris Ebbers & Nachoem Wijnberg, 2012. "The effects of having more than one good reputation on distributor investments in the film industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 36(3), pages 227-248, August.
    19. Keuschnigg, Marc, 2015. "Product Success in Cultural Markets: The Mediating Role of Familiarity, Peers, and Experts," MPRA Paper 63444, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. repec:kap:asiapa:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10490-016-9501-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Ignacio Redondo & Morris Holbrook, 2010. "Modeling the appeal of movie features to demographic segments of theatrical demand," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(4), pages 299-315, November.
    22. Gazley, Aaron & Clark, Gemma & Sinha, Ashish, 2011. "Understanding preferences for motion pictures," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 854-861, August.

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