Do sex and violence sell internationally? A moderating role of cultural differences in the mediation effect of age ratings on the relationship between films’ content elements and worldwide box office performance

Guangchao Charles Feng*, Nan Luo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although the determinants of films’ box office performance have been extensively examined in the past, there is a gap in the literature with regard to how the mediation effect of age ratings for movies on the relationship between content elements and box office performance differs across cultures. Through a moderated mediation analysis of films released in 111 countries in the past 100 years (between 1921 and 2020), this paper finds that when there are wider cultural distances between the home and host countries, content with higher levels of violence and morally loaded behaviors reap greater box office revenues in host countries. However, in total, movies with higher elements of violent content rather than content related to morally loaded behaviors contribute to high box office revenues in the international film market.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • age ratings
  • box office performance
  • cultural distance
  • moderated mediation

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