Predicting box office with and without markets: Do internet users know anything?

Jordi McKenzie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates and compares predictions of opening weekend box office revenue from an online prediction game, the Derby, and an online prediction market, the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX), using a sample of 141 films released in 2007. Overall, both mechanisms provide accurate predictions of box office outcomes but tend to over-predict small-earning films and under-predict large-earning films. This bias is present across a number of sub-samples disaggregated by film-specific variables. The bias is consistently greater in the Derby game, suggesting that the market mechanism is superior to the non-market mechanism. There is also evidence that larger budget films, sequels and films featuring stars are predicted more accurately in both settings, and that individual-level predictions improve as films spend more time at the box office and as players gain experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalInformation Economics and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Forecasting
  • Information aggregation
  • Motion pictures
  • Prediction markets
  • Prediction mechanisms


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