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Abstract

Since movies are experience goods, consumers are easily influenced by other consumers` behavior. For moviegoers, box office rank is the most credible and easily accessible information. Many studies have found that the relationship between a movie`s box office rank and its revenue departs from the Pareto distribution, and this phenomenon has been named “increasing returns to information.” The primary objective of the current research is to apply the empirical model proposed by De Vany and Walls (1996) to the Korean movie market in order to examine whether the same phenomenon prevails in the Korean movie market. The other purpose of the present study is to provide managers with useful implications about the release timing of a movie by finding different curvatures that depend upon seasonality. The empirical test on the Korean movie market shows similar results as prior studies conducted on the U.S., Hong Kong, and U.K. movie markets. The phenomenon of increasing returns is generated by information transmission among consumers, which makes some movies become blockbusters and others bombs. The proposed model can also be interpreted in such a way that a change in the rank has a nonlinear effect on the movie`s performance. If a movie climbs up the chart, it would be rewarded more than its proportion. On the other hand, if a movie falls down in the ranks, its performance would drop rapidly. The research result also indicates that the phenomenon of increasing returns occurs differently depending on when the movies are released. Since the tendency of the increasing returns to information is stronger during the peak seasons, movie marketers should decide upon the release timing of a movie based on its competitiveness. If a movie has substantial potential to incur positive word-of- mouth, it would be more reasonable to release the movie during the peak season to enjoy increasing returns. Otherwise, a movie should be released during the low season to minimize the risk of being dropped from the chart.

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