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Hollywood blockbusters and long-tailed distributions: An empirical study of the popularity of movies

Listed author(s):
  • Sitabhra Sinha

    (Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India)

  • S. Raghavendra

    (Madras School of Economics, Chennai, India)

Numerical data for all movies released in theaters in the USA during the period 1997-2003 are examined for the distribution of their popularity in terms of (i) the number of weeks they spent in the Top 60 according to the weekend earnings, and (ii) the box-office gross during the opening week, as well as, the total duration for which they were shown in theaters. These distributions show long tails where the most popular movies are located. Like the study of Redner [S. Redner, Eur. Phys. J. B \textbf{4}, 131 (1998)] on the distribution of citations to individual papers, our results are consistent with a power-law dependence of the rank distribution of gross revenues for the most popular movies with a exponent close to -1/2.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0406008.

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Length: 4 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0406008
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 4
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