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Modeling movie success when "nobody knows anything": Conditional stable distribution analysis of film returns

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  • W David Walls

Abstract

In this paper we apply a recently-developed statistical model that explicitly accounts for the extreme uncertainty surrounding film returns. The conditional distribution of box-office returns is analyzed using the stable distribution regression model. The regression coefficients in this model represent what is known about the correlates of film success while at the same time permitting the variance of film success at the box office to be infinite. The empirical analysis shows that the conditional distribution of film returns has infinite variance, and this invalidates statistical inferences from the often-applied least-squares regression model. The estimates of the stable regression confirm some earlier results on the statistics of the movie business and the analysis demonstrates how to model box-office success in the movie business where ``nobody knows anything''

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  • W David Walls, 2004. "Modeling movie success when "nobody knows anything": Conditional stable distribution analysis of film returns," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 409, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:409
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor Ginsburgh, 2001. "Economics of arts and culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1869, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. 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

    Keywords

    motion picture industry; economics of the movie business; film success; stable Paretian model; symmetric stable regression analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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