Marketing Letters

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 205–219

Can good marketing carry a bad product? Evidence from the motion picture industry


  • Thorsten Hennig-Thurau
    • Marketing and Media Research, Department of MediaBauhaus-University of Weimar
    • Department of MarketingUniversity of Missouri-Columbia
  • Shrihari Sridhar
    • Marketing and Media Research, Department of MediaBauhaus-University of Weimar

DOI: 10.1007/s11002-006-7416-0

Cite this article as:
Hennig-Thurau, T., Houston, M.B. & Sridhar, S. Market Lett (2006) 17: 205. doi:10.1007/s11002-006-7416-0


We examine the relative roles of marketing actions and product quality in determining commercial success. Using the motion picture context, in which product quality is difficult for consumers to anticipate and information on product success is available for different points in time, we model the effects of studio actions and movie quality on a movie’s sales during different phases of its theatrical run. For a sample of 331 recent motion pictures, structural equation modeling demonstrates that studio actions primarily influence early box office results, whereas movie quality influences both short- and long-term theatrical outcomes. The core results are robust across moderating conditions. We identify two data segments with follow-up latent class regressions and explore the degree of studio actions needed to “save” movies of varying quality. We finally offer some implications for research and management.


Motion picturesProduct qualityMarketing actionsStructural equations modelingLatent class regressions

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006