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At the Movies: The Economics of Exhibition Contracts

Author

Listed:
  • Darren Filson
  • David Switzer
  • Portia Besocke

Abstract

We describe a real-world profit sharing contract--the movie exhibition contract--and consider alternative explanations for its use. Two explanations based on difficulties with forecasting fit the facts better than asymmetric information models. The first emphasizes two-sided risk aversion; the second emphasizes measurement costs. Transaction costs and long-term relationships also affect contractual practices. We use an original data set of all exhibition contracts involving 13 theaters owned by a prominent St. Louis exhibitor over a two-year period to inform our theories and test hypotheses. The findings question traditional contract theory and may be relevant for other contracting environments.(JEL L14, L82, D45, D80) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Darren Filson & David Switzer & Portia Besocke, 2005. "At the Movies: The Economics of Exhibition Contracts," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(2), pages 354-369, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:2:p:354-369
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbi024
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi McKenzie, 2012. "The Economics Of Movies: A Literature Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 42-70, February.
    2. David M. Switzer & David M. Lang, 2007. "Does Sex Sell? A Look at the Effects of Sex and Violence on Motion Picture Revenues," Working Papers 2008-5, Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
    3. Sumit Raut & Sanjeev Swami & Eunkyu Lee & Charles B. Weinberg, 2008. "How Complex Do Movie Channel Contracts Need to Be?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 627-641, 07-08.
    4. Moul, Charles C., 2008. "Retailer entry conditions and wholesaler conduct: The theatrical distribution of motion pictures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 966-983, July.
    5. Ricard Gil & Wesley Hartmann, 2007. "The Role and Determinants of Concession Sales in Movie Theaters: Evidence from the Spanish Exhibition Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 30(4), pages 325-347, June.
    6. James G. Mulligan & Daniel J. Wedzielewski, 2012. "Government Intervention to Prevent Bankruptcy: the Effect of Blind-Bidding Laws on Movie Theaters," Working Papers 12-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    7. Christopher Müller & Enrico Böhme, 2011. "A note on the relationship of mainstream and art house movie theaters," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 29-34.
    8. 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.
    9. Darlene Chisholm & Víctor Fernández-Blanco & S. Abraham Ravid & W. David Walls, 2015. "Economics of motion pictures: the state of the art," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(1), pages 1-13, February.
    10. Gordon H. Hanson & Chong Xiang, 2009. "International Trade in Motion Picture Services," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 203-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ohio University & Department of Economics & Hailey Hayeon Joo, 2009. "Social Learning and Optimal Advertising in the Motion Picture Industry," 2009 Meeting Papers 513, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. 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.
    13. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2010. "Vertical Integration during the Hollywood Studio Era," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 519-543.
    14. Xinlei Chen & Yuxin Chen & Charles Weinberg, 2013. "Learning about movies: the impact of movie release types on the nationwide box office," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(3), pages 359-386, August.
    15. Sanjeev Swami, 2006. "—Research Perspectives at the Interface of Marketing and Operations: Applications to the Motion Picture Industry," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 670-673, 11-12.
    16. Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Fernanda Gutierrez-Navratil & Victoria Ateca-Amestoy, 2015. "Theatre allocation as a distributor’s strategic variable over movie runs," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(1), pages 65-83, February.
    17. Ch'ng, Kean Siang, 2007. "Evolutionary Concept, Genetic Algorithm and Exhibition Contract in Movie Industry," MPRA Paper 5387, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Oct 2007.
    18. Darlene C Chisholm, 2011. "Motion Pictures," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 39 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Jehoshua Eliashberg & Anita Elberse & Mark A.A.M. Leenders, 2006. "The Motion Picture Industry: Critical Issues in Practice, Current Research, and New Research Directions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 638-661, 11-12.
    20. David Lang & David Switzer & Brandon Swartz, 2011. "DVD sales and the R-rating puzzle," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 35(4), pages 267-286, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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