The comparative impact of critics and consumers: applying the Generalisability Theory to online movie ratings

Ling Peng, Geng Cui and Chunyu Li

Lingnan University

Introduction

The amount of academic research on issues related to the motion picture industry has risen sharply over the past two decades. The availability of rich data makes the industry particularly appealing from a research perspective. Now the motion picture industry has become fertile ground for the application of new product forecasting and prerelease market evaluation models given the high stakes and high risks in producing and marketing a movie, with only three or four out of ten breaking even, and around one in ten becoming profitable at the box office (Vogel 2001). Worldwide box office receipts for all films released in each country around the world reached an all-time high of $31.8 billion in 2010, an increase of 8% over 2009 (MPA 2010). An industry with such financial significance is by all means worthy of rigorous investigation. Forecasting and diagnostic information is useful not only before the production begins, but also once the movie is completed, and decisions for advertising and distribution have to be made before the release of the movie.