Academic journal article Journal of Business and Educational Leadership

The More, the Better? Movie Genre and Performance Analysis

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Educational Leadership

The More, the Better? Movie Genre and Performance Analysis

Article excerpt


In many ways, movies are repeatedly cited as symbols of "commercial art" which simultaneously require aspects of high artistic quality and high market performance. The movie as an art form has been mainly examined by artistic experts (critics). However, the market performance of a movie is reflected by its box-office revenue (audiences). Thus, both artistic experts and marketing researchers have generated a variety of research for some time. For example, Walls (2005) considers uncertainty in analyzing the conditional distribution of box-office returns. The study specifically models the conditional distribution of movie returns. Despite all of the uncertainty present within the movie industry, the analysis shows it is still possible to model box-office success. Historically, it is accepted in the movie industry that critics and their reviews play a significant role in predicting the financial performance of a movie (Basuroy, Chatterjee, and Ravid (2003), Eliashberg and Shugan (1997), Hirshman and Pieros (1985), Litman and Kohl (1989), Plucker, Holden, and Neustadter (2008)). The model proposed by Sawhney and Eliashberg (1996), and Walls (2005) attempts to forecast the box- office revenues of new motion pictures, drawing particular attention to the consumer's movie adoption process. Conceptualizing the movie going process as a two-step decision, the framework model accounts for the individual's time to decide to see a new movie and the time to act upon the decision.

The proposition that genre plays an important role in the audience's selection of movie (Austin and Gordon 1987) has been employed in numerous studies since its inception. However, previous studies were limited to artistic aspects (Chuu, Chang, and Zaichkowsky 2009; Wanderer 2010), employed narrow pools of genres (Sawhney and Eliashberg 1996), or did not analyze artistic performance and financial performance concurrently with genre (Walls 2005). There is also a lack of research that compares movie performances with a single distinctive genre and/or multiple genres. Thus, the focus of this paper is to provide a comprehensive analysis of movie performances with a much wider range of genres.


The dataset was generated in two stages. In the first stage, the movie's name and genre were obtained from the MovieLens database. These movies were produced in the United States between 2010 and 2015. In the second stage, the movie's financial data (movie budget and domestic box-office revenue), number of theaters in its run, and critic ratings were added from IMDb, Boxofficemojo, and the Metacritic database. As a result of this aggregation, the research uses a total of 707 movies (166 single genre and 541 multi genre). The data structure is described in Table 1.

Three hypotheses are generated based on the literature review and data structure. Since there is no previous research that investigates the impact of multiple genres and/or single genres on movie performance, we generate Hi as follows:

H1: There is a mean difference in movie performance factors in multi-genre movies and single genre movies.

To investigate the impact of financial performance and artistic performance, we generate H2 and H3. Measuring the direct impact of one genre requires performing the analysis within single genre movies.

H2: The financial performance of certain genres is better than certain other genres.

H3: The artistic performance of certain genres is better than certain other genres.


Overall, about 23% of the data was in a single genre group while the remainder is in the multi-genre groups. Also, the two genre combination is the most popular way to categorize films (see Table 2 and Figure 1).

In terms of total count, the Drama and Comedy genres were the most common. The Western and Musical genres were the least popular.

The analysis was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, movies were compared in two groups - single genre movies and movies with multiple genres. …

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