Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Darren Filson

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© 2014 James H. Havlicek


The increasing globalization of entertainment appears to be having a major impact on the dynamics of the American film industry. The U.S. box office is no longer predominant, meaning that in order to most effectively capitalize on the state of the theatrical market, domestic studios must now more heavily incorporate foreign preferences into production strategy. This study explores the financial nuances of the global box office in relation to sequel-driven film franchises, which have seemingly come to dominate commercial filmmaking as a result of their risk-minimized profitability. We focus on discrepancies between foreign and domestic performance in order to analyze the potential motivations behind the shifts in Hollywood’s output. Using OLS and Probit regression models with a variety of dependent and independent variables, this study finds that sequels tend to perform both relatively and absolutely better overseas, that certain genres are received differently abroad than in the U.S., and that the approval of latter sequels tends to be driven more by foreign revenue generated by previous films within franchises.