IMDB's top 250 films demographic. A dissertation on how age affects top movie lists.

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
Dear Sir or Madam.

For my university dissertation I am attempting to look at the effect of age on the Film Canon.


My dissertation will look into the affect of age on the choice of greatest films. When comparing your list with lists such as Rotten Tomatos greatest films and Sight and Sounds Greatest Movies of all Time, there is a big difference in what is considered the best film.


With most things, this type of list is largely subjective, but I am trying to ascertain as to whether age may be a factor.


I am contacting you today as I am trying to see if it would be possible to gain insight into the demographic of people that have voted for your top list.


I am not looking for names; for obvious data protection laws, but merely just the ages of those that voted and what they voted for. This information would allow me to show how age may be a factor in the deciding of a greatest film ever made.


Any help that you may be able to give me would be greatly appreciated. I realise this is a heavy request to ask, but hope that it may be possible.


In its simplest form if you could give me a tally of the ages that voted that would also be just as helpful.


I thank you for your time, and look forward to hearing from you.


As with many things in life, my dissertation has a deadline and if this isn't possible any response either way would be appreciated as I can still use it as evidence in my dissertation. Thank you
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
  • Inquisitive

Posted 5 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14383 Posts
  • 15204 Reply Likes
Hi Lewis Logan,

I recommend that you contact IMDb's Licensing department.

http://www.imdb.com/conditions
...
If you are interested in receiving our express written permission to use IMDb content for your non-personal (including commercial) use, please visit our Content Licensing section or contact our Licensing Department. We do allow the limited use of robots and crawlers, such as those from certain search engines, with our express written consent. If you are interested in receiving our express written permission to use robots or crawlers on our site, please contact our Licensing Department.
...
Content Licensing
http://www.imdb.com/licensing/?ref_=cou_2
IMDb licenses content to a wide selection of businesses including movie studios, cable companies, websites, video retailers, software developers, electronics manufacturers, mobile applications, and more. We offer content licensing packages that are customized to meet your needs based on your specific audience and the data being licensed. IMDb licensing content includes: cast & crew, user ratings, plot summaries, release dates, box office, keywords, filmography credits, awards, biographies, nicknames and more.

To learn more, please contact our Licensing Department for further information.

Please see our Content Subscription Service Terms and Conditions.

To contact the Licensing Department you will need to have a free IMDb account.
http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

The "Content Subscription Service Terms and Conditions" is too lengthy to quote here.
http://www.imdb.com/licensing/subservicetc

I've investigated the effect age and gender demographics on film preferences. Anecdotally, people tend to favor films they viewed during the ages of 14 to 30.

The voting demographics for each film is available. For instance, the user ratings for Interstellar (2014) is on this page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816692/ratings

Note: The following is a screen capture that I made a few weeks ago.


You can get to the ratings page for any title by expanding "Quick Links" and clicking on User Ratings.

I compiled the ratings for the IMDb Top 250 two years ago.

This is a summary of the correlations:


If you send me a PM, I can provide more details.
www.imdb.com/user/ur0127678/
(Edited)
Photo of LuvsToResearch

LuvsToResearch, Champion

  • 716 Posts
  • 827 Reply Likes
While there are interesting statistics here I would caution you to include the fact that the demographic is not necessarily an accurate one in terms scientific method. The demographics on IMDb are self proclaimed and not verified in any way. I could register as an 18 year old male if I so choose, so there is no way of knowing how accurate, or inaccurate, the demographics truly are.
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
Thanks LuvsToResearch,

I generally mention that IMDb has no way to verify demographic information of users.
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Thank you so much for all of your replies. So incredibly helpful. Thank you.
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I have just seen that IMDB allows you to see top 250 films by gender but not by age.

I found this site:
http://you-deserve-this.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/imdb-top-250-deconstructed-part-ii.html

And on here I can see results by age, but only dating 2012.

Has IMDB since removed this feature?
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
To my knowledge, IMDb never provided a Top 250 by age demographic.

It is possible to construct this yourself by collecting the user rating page for all of the films in the Top 250. I did this two years ago to satisfy personal curiosity and it is tedious to do.

For instance, these are the top ten films for the 45+ age demographic.

Top
250
Rank     Title

2           The Godfather (1972)

25         Casablanca (1942)

1           The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

3           The Godfather: Part II (1974)

6           12 Angry Men (1957)

13         One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

27         Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

28         Rear Window (1954)

32         Sunset Blvd. (1950)

41         North by Northwest (1959)
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
How did you come to the conclusion that The Godfather was rated highest by people aged 45+?

IMDB seems to show them voting this film as a 9.1. This seems like an infinitely tedious task. How can you be sure no other film on IMDB was rated higher?
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
I did state that this would be tedious. It's also probably not practical beyond a certain number of films.

Since I only looked at the IMDb Top 250, it is possible there were other films that people 45+ would have rated higher. However, the IMDb Top 250 is a good starting point and you could progressively expand to the IMDb Top 1000 and other highly ranked films.
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Well I best get a few cups of tea going
Photo of OJT

OJT

  • 15 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
This answer got me interested. I now understand how I can find imdb top1000 and even imdb top2000 if I want.
I've known about the advanced searches, but didn't check it out well enough!
Thanks, Dan Dasson. You deserve you cup! 
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
Hi OJT,

IMDb's Advanced Title Search should allow you to find the titles of films you wish to find.
Want to get a list of comedies from the 1970s that have at least 1000 votes and an average rating of 7.5 or higher? Use Advanced Title Search.
You can reach the Advanced Title Search by clicking on the link or by selecting Advanced Search from the drop down menu next to the yellow spy glass, the clicking on Advanced Title Search on the Advanced Search page.

Here is a link for the "Top 1000" Titles.

Highest Rated IMDb "Top 1000" Titles
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?count=250&groups=top_1000&sort=user_rating,desc&view=si...

This search 5,294 titles of the highest rated titles with at least 5,000 votes.

Highest Rated Feature Films With User Rating Between 6.4 And 10 and At Least 5,000 Votes
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?count=250&num_votes=5000,&sort=user_rating,desc&title_t...

Setting a minimum threshold of votes excludes highly rated titles with very few votes. For instance, the following search finds 68,455 titles.

Highest Rated Feature Films With User Rating Between 6.4 And 10
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?count=250&sort=user_rating,desc&title_type=feature&user...

I've included an image of the Advanced Title Search page for your reference.

For:
Highest Rated IMDb "Top 1000" Titles
1. Under Title Groups select IMDb "Top 1000"
2. Under Display Options select Compact, 250 per page and sorted by "User Ratings Descending".
3. Click the yellow Search button.

For:
Highest Rated Feature Films With User Rating Between 6.4 And 10 and At Least 5,000 Votes
1. Under Title Type select Feature Film.
2. Under User Rating select 6.4 and 10 from the drop down menu.
3. Number of Votes enter 5000 in the first text box.
4. Under Display Options select Compact, 250 per page and sorted by "User Ratings Descending".
5. Click the yellow Search button.





Photo of DavidAH_Ca

DavidAH_Ca, Champion

  • 3261 Posts
  • 2917 Reply Likes
It won't help you with the demographic split by age, but you might find the downloadable file of ratings for the top 250 Titles of interest.

The file includes a rough Distribution, # of votes, Rank and Title

for example the top Title is listed as :

Distribution  Votes  Rank  Title

      Distribution  Votes  Rank  Title 
      0000000125  1407599   9.2  The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Distribution shows 1-9% voted for each of 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7; 10-19% voted 8, 20-29% voted 9; and 50-59% voted 10.

The links to the files can be found on the Alternative Interfaces page.
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Took me a few hours but I made an Google Sheet of all the score in different age groups and other categories.

Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Had to add the addition decimal place to the IMDB score in order to keep the list structure when re ordering.
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
I will cross check this with what I recorded 2 years ago. From what I remember, this looks very similar.

Just a reminder: I recommend that you contact IMDb licensing before doing additional work. I believe that IMDb licensing will approve your use of the data. However, it would be problematic to invest a lot of time and effort in your research, and not have permission to use the data.
Photo of Lewis Logan

Lewis Logan

  • 8 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Already did so, for educational purposes they allow this sort of thing. Its all for a university essay. I can't imagine its going to be anything ground breaking. I'm merely trying to show that there can be no 'greatest film of all time' and that canonical theory is a outmoded system
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14257 Posts
  • 14981 Reply Likes
I'm merely trying to show that there can be no 'greatest film of all time' and that canonical theory is a outmoded system
I believe there is strong evidence to support you hypothesis. I've come to that conclusion base on limited research of my own. When you complete your essay, I would be interested in reading it.

dan_dassow [<at>] yahoo [<dot>] com

Please tell me if there is anything else I can do to help.