Genre trends at the US box office, 1991 to 2010

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Abstract:

This article examines genre trends in the top 50 grossing films at the US box office each year from 1991 to 2010, focusing on the frequency and rank of different genres, the box office gross and release patterns of films in different genres, and the release profile of Hollywood studios. The results show a narrowing of the range of genres at the highest rankings, with fantasy/science fiction movies coming to dominate at the expense of comedy, crime/thriller and drama films. There are also marginal increases in action/adventure and family films. Analysis of the opening and total gross for each film reveals that different genres are characterized by different release patterns, and noted the importance of awards in contributing to the box office gross of drama films. With one notable exception, there is no evidence of genre specialization among film studios in contemporary Hollywood cinema.

Keywords: Hollywood; box office gross; empirical research; genre; studios; time series

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.31.2.145_1

Affiliations: Independent researcher

Publication date: July 31, 2012

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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