IMDb ALWAYS perefers the opening title on screen... except when it doesn't

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)

The IMDb explicitly states a primary title should be "the original title of a movie/show in its original language as it appears on screen (on the title card) in the opening credits. So all alternative titles found on posters, DVD boxes, reference books, trailers, websites, re-releases, etc. are irrelevant. They do NOT define what the primary title should look like." These primary titles , however, remain "what they should not look like":

These are major, popular movies millions of people saw and therefore it is improbable that no one has ever submitted the correct titles. (Apparently even some of these were at one point listed as the correct ones!) I've submitted corrections to these titles (except the last one) but none has yet been admitted, and what baffles me is that there clearly are exceptions while the rule is pretty simple, clear-cut, and laid out. And I can't stand this; because that means that either the rule or the titles don't reflect the state of how the IMDb editors operate.

So, why are these exceptions? At the studios' request? For SEO? And please, please just either correct these titles, or revise the policy so that they accurately reflect what is actually being applied (and maybe add "opening [credits] title" to the available AKA attribute options), because if the IMDb doesn't stick to its own rules, why would its users?

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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gromit82, Champion

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Nardog: I can't comment on all these films, but I agree with you that the treatment of the Star Wars titles looks odd to me. Why are the films from the prequel trilogy listed as
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999),
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), and
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), yet the new film is listed as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) with no "Episode VII" in the title?

The words "Episode VII" did appear on screen right before the words "The Force Awakens"; as far as I can remember, the formatting of the titles was the same in the prequel trilogy as in "The Force Awakens", so the IMDb title format should be the same as well. (This does not necessarily correspond to the original formatting of the titles of the films in the original trilogy.)
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Nardog and Gromit82 -

I have forwarded this inquiry to our title editors who will take a look as soon as they can, once I hear back I will let you know the reasoning here.
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Jayseph, Employee

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Hi all,

thanks for flagging these - and especially for all of your screenshots - you're definitely correct in that our listing of these titles was inconsistent with our policy.

I've made the necessary changes to TRON: Legacy, X-Men: First Class, Iron Man 3, La vie d'Adèle and Star Wars: The Force Awakens and these should all now be showing as the primary titles. I've also added a note to each of these to ensure that they're not changed back.

We've reason to believe that our listing of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi is correct and so we have not changed it. It looks as though the YouTube link you'd supplied in the original posting may have been the result of someone's tinkering, if the comments section is to be believed. Happy to review this again if we can find some more evidence though!

Thanks again all