Simulating the Cinema Market: How Cross-Cultural Differences in Social Influence Explain Box Office Distributions v1.1.0

This paper uses a mixed method approach to show how cross-cultural differences in social influences can explain differences in distributions of market shares in different markets. First, we develop a realistic agent-based model that mimics the behavior of movie visitors and incorporates the social influences visitors exert on each other before and after visiting movies. The simulation results indicate that market inequalities are determined by social influences. In particular, we find that the social influence derived from the intended behaviors of others (coordinated consumption effect) has a stronger effect on market inequalities than the social influence derived from the past behavior of others (imitation effect). Second, we empirically validate the simulation results by conducting a crossnational survey that makes use of the cross-cultural differences in Hofstede’s collectivism-individualism index as a proxy for the level of social influence present in a market. The results of this field study, performed in China, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain, empirically show that social influences differ across countries, and that these differences can explain the apparent differences in the dispersion of movies’ market shares. The empirical survey further contributes to understanding the role of social influence by revealing a U-shaped relationship between Hofstede’s collectivism-individualism index score and the degree of social influence.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at