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Strategic Decision-Making in Hollywood Release Gaps

  • Dalton, John
  • Leung, Tin Cheuk

Hollywood blockbusters are usually released in the U.S. before other foreign markets. The release gaps have declined significantly over time and varied greatly across countries. While movie piracy has been suggested as an important determinant for the release gap decision of distributors, theory and evidence suggest there are other important determinants. In this paper, we use a discrete choice release gap decision game model to disentangle the impacts of the i) release gap effect, which includes factors that provide incentives for a distributor to shorten the release gap; ii) word-of-mouth effect, which provides incentives for a distributor to lengthen the release gap; and iii) strategic effect, which accounts for the incentives blockbusters have to avoid each other. We obtain box office and release gap data from the private industry source Boxofficemojo.com. Our results suggest all three factors have an economically significant impact on distributors' release gap decision.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52439.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52439
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  1. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2013. "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 19150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2009. "How important is the new goods margin in international trade?," Staff Report 324, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jehoshua Eliashberg & Sam K. Hui & Z. John Zhang, 2007. "From Story Line to Box Office: A New Approach for Green-Lighting Movie Scripts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 881-893, June.
  5. Akbar Marvasti & E. Ray Canterbery, 2005. "Cultural and Other Barriers to Motion Pictures Trade," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(1), pages 39-54, January.
  6. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
  7. McCalman, Phillip, 2005. "International diffusion and intellectual property rights: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 353-372, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  10. W. D. Walls & A. DeVany, 2007. "Estimating the effects of movie piracy on box-office revenue," Working Papers 2014-56, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 23 Sep 2014.
  11. Liran Einav, 2010. "Not All Rivals Look Alike: Estimating An Equilibrium Model Of The Release Date Timing Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 369-390, 04.
  12. Charles C. Moul, 2007. "Measuring Word of Mouth's Impact on Theatrical Movie Admissions," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 859-892, December.
  13. Liran Einav, 2007. "Seasonality in the U.S. motion picture industry," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 127-145, 03.
  14. 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.
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