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What makes a blockbuster? Economic analysis of film success in the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Alan Collins

    (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Milton, Southsea, Hants, UK)

  • Chris Hand

    (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Milton, Southsea, Hants, UK)

  • Martin C. Snell

    (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Milton, Southsea, Hants, UK)

Abstract

In this paper, we attempt to evaluate whether a film's commercial performance can be forecast. The statistical distribution of film revenues in the UK is examined and found to have unbounded variance. This undermines much of the existing work relating a film's performance to its identifiable attributes within an OLS model. We adopt De Vany and Walls' approach and transform the revenue data into a binary variable and estimate the probability that a film's revenue will exceed a given threshold value; in other words, the probability of a blockbuster. Furthermore, we provide a sensitivity analysis around these threshold values. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Collins & Chris Hand & Martin C. Snell, 2002. "What makes a blockbuster? Economic analysis of film success in the United Kingdom," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 343-354.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:23:y:2002:i:6:p:343-354
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1069
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Vany, Arthur & Walls, W David, 1996. "Bose-Einstein Dynamics and Adaptive Contracting in the Motion Picture Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1493-1514, November.
    2. Olivier V. Pictet & Michel M. Dacorogna & Ulrich A. Muller, 1996. "Heavy tails in high-frequency financial data," Working Papers 1996-12-11, Olsen and Associates.
    3. De Vany, Arthur S. & Walls, W. David, 2004. "Motion picture profit, the stable Paretian hypothesis, and the curse of the superstar," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1035-1057, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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