Theatrical Feature Film Trade and Media Policies in the United States, Europe, and Japan Since the 1950s
41 Pages Posted: 17 May 2002
Date Written: February 22, 2002
Using a home market model of international trade in media products, this paper reports an empirical study that relates trends in theater box-office market shares to consumer spending on movies in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and the U.K since the 1950s. We find a significantly positive relationship over time between measures of domestic consumer spending on movies and domestic box-office market shares in these countries, and a negative relationship between domestic movie spending and American movie market shares. We attribute the relatively weak international performance of American movies before the 1970s to the more rapid, movie-admission reducing diffusion of broadcast television in the U.S. After the 1970s, though, the American commercial support base for theatrical movie production has grown more rapidly than that of most other countries-largely due to a faster diffusion and growth of pay TV and home video media in the U.S. American producers have thus had the ability to invest greater economic resources into movies than have their European and other counterparts. Although a number of reasons can be identified, growing American dominance can partly be attributed to differences in media policies in the U.S. compared to those of other nations.
Keywords: motion pictures, international trade, home market, media products
JEL Classification: F14, L82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation