"Sequel Mania": Why Hollywood is Getting Increasingly Interested in Sequels? Open Access

Zhu, Tao (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/474299762?locale=en


The Paper aims to understand why Hollywood studios choose to make more sequels in recent years. I examine the box office performance of sequels in both nominal terms (revenue) and real terms (moviegoers) based on 9 variables and the interaction terms. A total number of 396 sequels, ranging in a fifty-year period, are analyzed under two OLS regression models. The main findings include that a return of two times of the budget input can be expected from making sequels. The performance of previous films in the movie franchise is positively related with the performance of the sequel. The critics rating, as a proxy of the quality of the sequel, plays a significant role in affecting audience's decision, which indicates that the audience are rational in making decisions. One noteworthy finding is that sequels made after two years of its predecessor cannot attract as many viewers as those made within two years. This is attributed to the momentum of audience's memories. Finally, my work reveals that a sequel rated R can negatively effect the impact of budget on box office.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction. 1

II. Literature Review. 5

III. Dataset. 7

IV. Empirical Strategy and Results. 10

V. Discussion and Extension. 16

VI. Conclusion. 17

VII. Reference. 19

VIII. Appendix. 22

Figure 1: Prevalence of Sequels in Top-ten Grossing Films, 1996-2015. 22

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of All the Variables. 23

Table 2: Correlation Matrix in Nominal Terms. 24

Table 3: Correlation Matrix in Real Terms. 24

Table 4: Impact on Box Office Performance .25

Table 5: Interaction Effect on Box Office (ROMA). 26

Table 6: Interaction Effect on Box Office (Rfilm). 27

Table 7: Interaction Effect on Box Office (Source). 28

Table 8: Interaction Effect on Box Office (Year). 29

Table 9: Interaction Effect on Box Office (Timespan). 30

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files