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Title: The power of the “like” button : the impact of social media on box office
Authors: Ding, C
Cheng, HK
Duan, Y
Jin, Y 
Issue Date: Feb-2017
Source: Decision support systems, Feb. 2017, v. 94, p. 77-84
Abstract: The mainstream research of social factors and box office performance has concentrated on post-consumption opinion mining and sentiment analysis, which are difficult to operationalize to the benefits of the industry practitioners whose objective is to maximize box office sales. In this study, we propose the Facebook “like” as an effective social marketing tool before the release of movies for several reasons. Firstly, people's prerelease “liking” of movies can be influenced by marketing campaigns. Secondly, the clicks of “likes” create social impact, as suggested by the Social Impact Theory, on moviegoers' consumption behaviors. And thirdly, Facebook “like” provides practitioners with real-time visible updates. By studying the impact of prerelease “likes” on box office sales, we not only contribute to the literature by offering a new social metric to evaluate the box office performance, but also provide the industry practitioners with quantitative support for the effectiveness of their social marketing activities. Our empirical results indicate that the prerelease “likes” exert a significantly positive impact on box office performance. More specifically, 1% increase in the number of “likes” in the one week prior to release is associated with an increase of the opening week box office by about 0.2%. As it approaches the release date, the prerelease “like” impact becomes stronger, suggesting that the latest prerelease “likes” are more effective in driving box office performance.
Keywords: Box office
Facebook “like”
Social impact
Social marketing
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Decision support systems 
ISSN: 0167-9236
EISSN: 1873-5797
DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2016.11.002
Rights: © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
© 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
The following publication Ding, C., Cheng, H. K., Duan, Y., & Jin, Y. (2017). The power of the “like” button: The impact of social media on box office. Decision Support Systems, 94, 77-84 is available at
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