Mazumdar research, examining star power and film success, to appear in Management Science


A research paper authored by Tridib Mazumdar, Howard R. Gendal professor of marketing at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, has been accepted for publication in the journal Management Science. Mazumdar’s co-authors are Angela Liu and Bo Li, assistant professor of marketing and associate professor of statistics, respectively, at the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing. Liu earned her PhD from the Whitman School in 2010.

The paper, titled, "Counterfactual Decomposition of Movie Star Effects with Star Selection," examines the effects casting has on the financial success of a film. Specifically, the study asks, what would a film’s outcome be if an unknown actor/actress had the lead role, given that individual possessed the same influence on the film’s production characteristics (e.g., script, budget, distribution, genre, etc.) of a well-known actor/actress, or vice versa?

According to the researchers, “The counterfactual analysis shows that the presence of a star does ensure wider release of the movie. However, the movie’s box office revenue is determined almost entirely by the movie characteristics, and stars have no direct residual effect on revenue. The stars’ effect on revenue is therefore indirect, and it comes from the wider release of the movie and the stars’ judicial choices of movie characteristics.”

In addition to his research and teaching, Mazumdar is also director of the Earl V. Snyder Innovation Management Center, dedicated to the study and understanding of innovation management and providing Whitman students with the opportunity to delve into the diverse fields of business, law, engineering, and industrial design through an interdisciplinary curriculum. The innovation management program at the Whitman School was established in 1981, with the dedication of the Snyder Center occurring in 1993 through a generous endowment from the estate of Earl and Josephine Snyder.