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Product Differentiation and Film Programming Choice: Do First-Run Movie Theatres Show the Same Films?

  • Darlene C. Chisholm
  • Margaret S. McMillan
  • George Norman

We present an empirical analysis of product differentiation using a new dynamic panel data set on film programming choice in a major U.S. metropolitan motion-pictures exhibition market. Using these data, we compute two measures of film programming choice which allow us to investigate the determinants of strategic product differentiation in a multi-characteristics space. Our evidence is consistent with the idea that the degree of product differentiation between theatre pairs reflects a balance between strategic concerns and contractual constraints. Similarity in one dimension is offset by differentiation in others. Finally, we find that ownership matters: theatres under common ownership make more similar programming choices than theatres with different owners.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12646.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Darlene Chisholm & Margaret McMillan & George Norman, 2010. "Product differentiation and film-programming choice: do first-run movie theatres show the same films?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 131-145, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12646
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