Culture Matters: Consumer Acceptance U.S. Films in Foreign Markets
Culture has a profound influence on all aspects of human behavior. Its impact may be subtle or pronounced, direct or indirect, enduring or temporary. In this article, the authors examine the extent to which the cultural environment in which a film is released affects its success. The reason why they selected film for research is that films remain a creation of the culture in which they are developed. Films inevitably reflect the writer’s view, the director’s vision, and the actor’s interpretation of the script, all of which are influenced by the cultural context. This article enabled to test hypotheses based on data drawn from the Variety.com website on the top 50 films in eight foreign countries for six consecutive years. Hypotheses focus on the three key dimensions of culture: beliefs and value systems, material and goods, and language. Craig, Greene, and Douglas test hypotheses with a hierarchical regression model specifying the impact of both film-level and country-level independent variables on box office receipts. The independent variables consisted of two groups, film characteristics and country characteristics. According to hypotheses, the results are: firstly, closely related to cultural distance is the extent to which the country has embraced elements of American culture. Secondly, related to cultural distance, was whether the film was released in an English-speaking country. When films were released in other English-speaking countries, they performed better than when they were released in non-English-speaking countries. Lastly, more genres allows for a more precise match between the film and its genre, while grouping the countries may mask individual country differences. The article explains that culture matters in important ways that are salient for products with significant cultural content. However, films are not only products which have...
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