Abstract for: Modeling Movie Release Strategies

This research examines the impact of distributor release strategies on the diffusion of motion-picture movies at the US domestic box-office. A model is developed that captures consumer choice as a behavioral process accounting for the movieís intrinsic attributes, consumer heterogeneity, network effects, word- of-mouth, seasonality, marketplace competition, and managerial inputs. The model estimates weekly box-office results for 137 movies and achieves a median r- squared of 0.98 and fits 91 percent of the movies with an r-squared of 0.75 or better. Managerial decisions regarding a movieís release date and distribution strategy are demonstrated to significantly impact box-office performance. The study demonstrates that accounting for this full range of factors not only improves the modelís fit, but also leads to a parameter set that depicts a richer description of the movie industry.