To Review or Not to Review? Limited Strategic Thinking at the Movie Box Office
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Film studios occasionally withhold movies from critics before their release. These cold openings provide a natural setting to apply laboratory-developed models of limited strategic thinking to the field. In a set of 1,303 widely released movies, cold opening is correlated with a 10-30 percent increase in domestic box-office revenue, and a pattern of fan disappointment, consistent with the hypothesis that some moviegoers do not infer low quality from cold opening. While selection and endogeneity may play a role in these regressions, the full pattern of results is consistent with level-k and cognitive hierarchy behavioral-game-theoretic models. (JEL D12, D82, L82, M37).
author list (cited authors)
Brown, A. L., Camerer, C. F., & Lovallo, D.