Does the theory of price elasticity of demand apply to cultural artifacts, like movies? On this question, we strongly recommend Harrison Searles’s in-depth movie review of the latest Star Wars flick The Force Awakens–a review we found via Marginal Revolution (link #1), by the way. What we liked most about this particular review is the introduction, which presents an intriguing analysis of the non-Bayesian preferences of a certain class of movie-goers: specifically, movie-goers who will pay to see a franchise film like “The Force Awakens” regardless of its quality:
Whatever may be the quality of the movie, The Force Awakens is still under the Star-Wars brand and is therefore a must-watch for a sizable portion of the population. Reviewing this movie from the point of view of providing spoiler-free advice about whether a movie-goer at the margins should spend her time and money to go see it is therefore largely an exercise in futility. Those margins scarcely exist. Much like how the Force is divided into the light side and the dark, we live in a world in which the population is divided between those who will go see any Star-Wars film, even if it were led by Jar Jar Binks, and those who care nothing for the franchise.