Dr. Jennifer Stoner presented her research “Wanting a good cry: Cultural Differences in Expected Emotion Consumption from Movie Genres” at The American Marketing Association Consumer Behavior Special Interest Group Conference on July 6, 2019 in Bern, Switzerland.
Authors on the paper included Aaron J. Barnes (University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign), Doreen Shen (University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign), Jennifer Stoner (University of North Dakota), and Carlos J. Torelli (University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign).
The global film and movie industry generated $43 billion in revenue in 2017. The top three countries in terms of tickets sold per year are India, China, and the United States—countries whose cultures predictably differ in terms of individualism and collectivism. Our research sheds light on how managers can achieve success in these culturally distinct markets. Although film theorists stress the importance of emotions in movie consumption, little empirical research has investigated how culture informs the movies people buy, like, and share with others as well as the emotional elements embedded in different movie genres. Moreover, movie genre selection is an understudied managerial decision in the consumer literature that has clear implications on the emotions that moviegoers expect to experience. For example, consumers might expect to experience more compassion while watching a drama compared to an action/adventure film. Drawing on psychological theory that organizes desirable emotions by culture, we predicted that collectivists (vs. individualists) desire movie genres that they expect to elicit affection and compassion (e.g., drama and romance). In contrast, individualists (vs. collectivists) should desire movies that they expect to elicit joy and excitement (e.g., action/adventure). The results from four studies largely support our hypotheses and offer new insight into culturally patterned emotion expectations and movie choices.