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I offer one theory as to what may be occurring. It may be that movie studios feel that IMDB voter rankings affect the financial prospects of their films directly - and indirectly, by affecting the eventual liklihood of their films winning awards. The IMDB popular vote for a film is based on tens to hundreds of thousands of votes, and thus beyond their ability to influence, but it is conceivable that they would be tempted to alter the average voting results that are reported by IMDB for their TOP 1000 voters. They could do this by paying a number of people to vote on a large number of films (thus acquiring TOP 1000 VOTER status) and then having them vote 1/10 on competitor films and 10/10 on films produced by the movie studio. I have no proof of this, but the current distribution of votes on the film Gravity by TOP 1000 Voters speaks for itself. Something is crooked about the TOP 1000 Voter voting system.
Frankly, my confidence in the results reported by IMDB has been shaken by this discovery. Please advise me and others as to your views on this.