Debates and assumptions about motion picture performance: a meta-analysis
- 1.8k Downloads
Across the many studies of motion picture box office success, unresolved debates and untested assumptions about the contributing factors persist. Using an accessibility–diagnosticity framework and a meta-analysis of 634 effect sizes from 150 studies, the current article seeks to clarify the relationships of star brand equity and product reviews (from consumers and critics) with box office success. The popularity of stars (market and media appeals) exerts a stronger impact on box office success than their artistic recognition (as per award nominations and wins) at the moment of a movie’s release but not over its extended theatrical run. Whereas the impact of popular stars on box office success decreases over time, the influence of artistically recognized stars remains steady. The findings also identify a dual role for critics, who influence consumers’ movie choice and predict box office performance by merely reflecting moviegoers’ tastes. Finally, this study refutes the assumption that the impact of users’ reviews strengthens over time, relative to critics’ reviews.
KeywordsCinema Meta-analysis Star brand equity Product reviews Critics’ reviews Users’ reviews Cue diagnosticity
The authors are thankful to Jan Heide and Ashish Sinha for their helpful comments on a previous version of this article as well as to Raphael Heffron for his assistance with data collection. This research benefited from the financial support of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Office of HEC Montréal, from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC; grant # 146958), and from a University of Cambridge Judge Business School research grant.
- Adler, M. (1985). Stardom and talent. The American Economic Review, 75(1), 208–212.Google Scholar
- Anand, N., & Watson, M. R. (2004). Tournament rituals in the evolution of fields: The case of the Grammy awards. Academy of Management Journal, 47(1), 59–80.Google Scholar
- Balio, T. (1985). The American film industry. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
- Borenstein, M. (1994). Effect size for continuous data. In H. Cooper, L. V. Hedges, & J. Valentine (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis. New York: Russel Edge Foundation.Google Scholar
- Brightlocal. (2016). Local consumer review survey. Retrieved from https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey. Accessed 19 June 2017.
- Brunet, J., Legoux, R., & Najar, S. (2008). Controlled and uncontrolled buzz as a marketing strategy in the film industry: The effectiveness of the junkets. Paper presented at the meeting Cultural Production in a Global Context: The Worldwide Film Industries, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
- Bughin, J., Doogan, J., & Vetvik, O. J. (2010). A new way to measure word-of-mouth marketing. The McKinsey Quarterly, 2, 113–116.Google Scholar
- Duval, S., & Tweedie, R. (2000). A nonparametric “trim and fill” method of accounting for publication bias in meta-analysis. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 95(449), 89–98.Google Scholar
- Fátharta, C. Ó. (2016). Kevin Thornton's restaurant to close after loss of Michelin star. Irish examiner. Retrieved from http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/kevin-thorntons-restaurant-to-close-after-loss-of-michelin-star-418956.html. Accessed 10 April 2017.
- Hennig-Thurau, T., Walsh, G., & Wruck, O. (2001). An investigation of the factors determining the success of service innovations: The case of motion pictures. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 2001(6), 1–23.Google Scholar
- Internet Movie Database (2016). Advanced title search. Available at http://www.imdb.com/search/title.
- Johnston, N. (2009). IMDb movie ratings over the years. Retrieved from http://www.njohnston.ca/2009/10/imdb-movie-ratings-over-the-years/. Accessed 11 March 2017.
- Kermode, M. (2014). Hatchet job: Love movies, hate critics. London: Pan MacMillan.Google Scholar
- Levin, A. M., Levin, I. P., & Heath, C. E. (1997). Movie stars and authors as brand names: Measuring brand equity in experiential products. Advances in Consumer Research, 24(1), 175–181.Google Scholar
- Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Marich, R. (2014). Movie star power dims as actors become hucksters. Huffington post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-marich/movie-star-power-dims-as-_b_5556322.html. Accessed 27 March 2017.
- McClintock, P. & Galloway, S. (2017). Matt Damon’s ‘the Great Wall’ to lose $75 million; future U.S.-China productions in doubt. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/what-great-walls-box-office-flop-will-cost-studios-981602. Accessed 2 April 2017.
- Merry, S. (2015). Are A-list actors a waste of money? Sydney morning herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/are-alist-actors-a-waste-of-money-20151125-gl7f0i.html. Accessed 7 Aug 2016.
- Mukhopadhyay, P. (2008). Theory and methods of survey sampling. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd..Google Scholar
- Nielsen (2015). Global trust in advertising. Retrieved from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2015/global-trust-in-advertising-2015.html]. Accessed 7 Aug 2016.
- Patten, D. (2017). Oscar ratings down double digits in demo; 32.9m Viewership hits 9-year low. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved from http://deadline.com/2017/02/oscars-ratings-2017-down-best-picture-mistake-jimmy-kimmel-abc-1202009034/. Accessed 31 March 2017.
- Perry, K., & Hyde, D. (2014). Celebrity chefs' restaurants among most overpriced and worst food. The telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/11272075/Celebrity-chefs-restaurants-among-most-overpriced-and-worst-food.html. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
- Politis, D. N., Romano, J. P., & Wolf, M. (2001). On the asymptotic theory of subsampling. Statistica Sinica, 11(4), 1105–1124.Google Scholar
- Proserpio, D., & Zervas, G. (2017). Online reputation management: Estimating the impact of management responses on consumer reviews. Marketing Science, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.2017.1043.
- PwC (2015). Box office resilience underscores the continuing popularity of the cinematic experience. Retrieved from: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/global-entertainment-media-outlook/segment-insights/filmed-entertainment.jhtml]. Accessed 7 Aug 2016.
- Ravid, S. A. (1999). Information, blockbusters, and stars: A study of the film industry. Journal of Business Research, 72(4), 463–492.Google Scholar
- Rosen, S. (1981). The economics of superstars. American Economic Review, 71(5), 845–858.Google Scholar
- Sedgwick, J. (1999). The comparative popularity of stars in mid-1930s Britain. Journal of Popular British Cinema, 2, 121–128.Google Scholar
- Sifferlin, A. (2016). Food endorsed by celebrities are almost all terrible for you. Retrived from: http://time.com/4358156/celebrity-endorsements-food-soda-drink/. Accessed 8 June 2017.
- Song, R., Moon, S., Chen, H. A., & Houston, M. B. (2017). When marketing strategy meets culture: The role of culture in product evaluations. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-017-0525-x1-19.
- Sterne, J. A., & Egger, M. (2005). Regression methods to detect publication and other bias in meta-analysis. In A. R. Rothstein, A. J. Sutton, & M. Borenstein (Eds.), Publication bias in meta-analysis: Prevention, assessment, and adjustments. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Stigler, G. J., & Becker, G. S. (1977). De gustibus non est disputandum. American Economic Review, 67(2), 76–90.Google Scholar
- Stockdale, D. (2015). 10 worst products endorsed by celebrities. Retrieved from http://www.twcc.com/articles/2015/12/28/1/10-worst-products-endorsed-by-celebrities.3. Accessed 8 June 2017.
- The Economist (2016). Fading stars: Hollywood studios can no longer bank on the pulling-power of famous actors. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/business/21693591-hollywood-studios-can-no-longer-bank-pulling-power-famous-actors-fading-stars]. Accessed 8 Aug 2016.
- Viechtbauer, W. (2010). Conducting meta-analyses in R with the Metafor package. Journal of Statistical Software, 63(3), 1–48.Google Scholar
- Zhang, X. & Dellarocas, C. (2006). The lord of the ratings: Is a movie's fate is influenced by reviews? Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Milwaukee.Google Scholar