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Intellectual property extensions in entertainment services: Marvel and DC comics

Alexander Buoye (Department of Marketing, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, New York, New York, USA)
Arne De Keyser (Department of Marketing, EDHEC Business School, Roubaix, France)
Zeyang Gong (Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, New York, New York, USA)
Natalie Lao (Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, New York, New York, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 24 February 2020

Issue publication date: 15 April 2020

1482

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look into the topic of IP category extensions in an entertainment setting. The main goal of the study is to explore the reciprocal spillover effect of customer experience (CX) ratings with an intellectual property (IP) in one medium (i.e. film) on the sales of the same IP in other media (i.e. comic books).

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on 21-years of monthly top 300 comic book direct market sales data linked to the release schedule and domestic box office gross figures for films featuring Marvel and DC comic book IP appearing in the weekly top 50 films over the same time period. The analysis is based on a hierarchical linear (i.e. mixed) model to account for the nested structure of the data.

Findings

The analysis reveals that CX ratings of weekly top 50 films featuring comic book IP have a quadratic relationship with comic book sales by the two major publishers. Films receiving very good but not excellent ratings are associated with the highest levels of incremental comic book sales.

Research limitations/implications

The model is based on sales of periodical comic books in the direct market only (i.e. specialty shops) and does not account for sales of digital comics or collected editions through other channels. The analysis is also limited to IP for the two major publishers (Marvel and DC comics).

Originality/value

This study expands current knowledge on CX spillover effects between different media, contributing to entertainment and CX-literature alike.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Professor Katrien Verleye for helpful suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript.

Citation

Buoye, A., De Keyser, A., Gong, Z. and Lao, N. (2020), "Intellectual property extensions in entertainment services: Marvel and DC comics", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 239-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-06-2019-0224

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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