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Consumers’ pre-launch awareness and preference on movie sales

Sangkil Moon (Belk College of Business, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Junhee Kim (Drexel Univrsity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Barry L. Bayus (UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Youjae Yi (Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




The purpose of this paper is to provide insightful advice that can improve the practice of using consumers’ pre-launch awareness and preference (AP) changes to predict the sales of new movies.


This paper applies a new movie box-office revenue forecasting model based on consumers’ weekly AP measures, to take advantage of the industry’s practice of using weekly survey data containing the AP measures of upcoming new movies. Specifically, a sales forecasting model is developed on the basis of the theory that the combination of the nature of new product preference (positive vs negative) and the timing of new product awareness (early vs recent) influences entertainment product sales.


This paper shows that early awareness consumers are as important as late awareness consumers in determining new product sales, suggesting that more marketing resources need to be allocated earlier than currently practiced. This paper also shows that when negative preferences dominate positive preferences well ahead of a product’s release, marketing efforts cannot overcome the negative sentiment of the market. Finally, the empirical application illustrates that three consumer segments varying in product expertise and consumption frequency reveal different AP patterns among high-, medium- and low-performance products.


This paper is intended to provide insightful advice that can improve the AP-based approach in entertainment industries. Toward that end, the authors emphasize two major aspects in association with new entertainment product sales: rethinking survey-based AP measures and examining heterogeneous consumer segments’ differential AP patterns.



The authors appreciate the enormous assistance from Sang-Jin Yim at CJ E&M, Korea, for the data used for this research and for his insightful comments. They are also thankful for the financial support from the Poole College of Management Research Innovation Grant for the first author’s research.


Moon, S., Kim, J., Bayus, B.L. and Yi, Y. (2016), "Consumers’ pre-launch awareness and preference on movie sales", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 5/6, pp. 1024-1046.



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