Is everybody an expert? An investigation into the impact of professional versus user reviews on movie revenues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study is the first attempt to examine the effect of electronic word of mouth (user reviews) relative to expert reviews on moviegoing decisions. For the first time, we use time-varying data on expert reviews. We find that expert ratings matter much more for moviegoing decisions than user ratings and volume. Our data also show that experts tend to be more critical but more consistent in their reviews than users. We find that experts, but not eWOM, affect wide release moviegoing, contrary to industry thinking. Finally, we show that experts’ reviews matter most when consumers and critics are in closer agreement about the quality of the film. The study uses OLS as well as instrumental variables analysis to account for possible endogeneity.


  • Suman Basuroy
  • S. Abraham Ravid
  • Richard T. Gretz
  • B. J. Allen
External organisations
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Yeshiva University
  • University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics


  • eWOM valence, eWOM volume, Expert reviews, Movies
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication categoryResearch