Why the User Ratings Have Become a Joke....And What To Do About It

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I don't think users should be able to vote until 2 weeks after a movie's theatrical release. The IMDB top 250 list is one of the hallmark pages of the site and is slowly becoming a watered-down joke because zealous fans flood the page on the first weekend of release and give a movie 10's based partly on hype. It seems that every other big-budget superhero blockbuster that comes out immediately gets into the top 250 because of a heavy influx of fans on a huge opening weekend. This crowds out classic movies like ET The Extra Terrestrial, Mulholland Drive, Dr. Zhivago, Boogie Nights, etc. Let fans get through the hyped opening weekends, and then vote in a more level-headed way.

And while you're at it, is it possible to erase votes from previous movies if they were cast in the first week of release?
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trent

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Posted 6 years ago

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Bilal

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Man of Steel released to the public and has 8.3 ratings from 51.000 users. It's not in the IMDb Top 250 for now. Do you know why? Shouldn't it be in it with a 8.3 score with over 50.000 votes? So that means fans not everything on IMDb
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Emperor, Champion

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The Man of Steel voting was only just opened, it'll take a bit for it to pop up on some of those pages:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Emperor, Champion

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This will always happen, unless a film really fails to deliver:

* Fans will tend to be the ones prepared to go and see it in the cinema and tend to vote film high.

* The interested will usually pick it up as a home media release and give it decent scores.

* The curious will often get it as a rental and might score it lower.

* Everyone else gets a chance to see it when it appears on TV and this will sweep up even the bored who have nothing better to do, and they could score it worse again.

So the trend would be to an initial high score that reaches some kind of consensus/equilibrium perhaps a year or two in, depending on how high profile it is.

Not allowing people to vote in the first fortnight seems pointless (and antagonising) as the early viewers will only go and give it exactly the same score they would do and there'd be no real difference in the weighted score at that point.

If this was deemed a problem, then it might be a system could be developed that only allowed a film into the Top 250 a year after the main release. However, I'm unsure what demand there would be for this - the Top 250 isn't the Word of God handed down from on high and you have to accept that it is always going to be a dynamic creature and they change over time - new releases will tend to drop, it is just the nature of the beast.
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jason

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"It seems that every other big-budget superhero blockbuster that comes out immediately gets into the top 250 because of a heavy influx of fans on a huge opening weekend."

So it shouldn't be in the Top 250 because too many people like it too soon?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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From the beginning, the IMDb Top 250 has been more about popularity than quality.
There have been 835 titles that have appeared in the IMDb Top 250. Some of the entries are truly surprising.

For more details see:
All Films that have Appeared on the IMDb Top 250
http://www.imdb.com/list/sbXIgqyYZNI/

IMDb Top250.Informer
http://top250.info/

Titles of the IMDb Top 250
http://www.took.nl/250/titles/index/p...

All titles of the IMDb Top 250 since September 1997
http://www.timo-schreiter.de/imdb/all...
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Emperor, Champion

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Great list you've got there - very interesting. Pity you can't rate lists,
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Emperor, Champion

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Also what you can see from that list is that films (especially genre ones with a strong fan base) tend to appear in the Top 250 and then drop out within a year or so, even those that might not have a huge appeal outside genre fans, like this:

Babylon 5: The Gathering first appeared on the IMDb Top 250 on Fri 26-Apr-1996 with a rank of 158 and a rating of 7.4. It last appeared on the IMDb Top 250 on Wed 02-Apr-1997 with a rank of 95. It attained its highest rank on Tue 19-Nov-1996 with a rank of 75


Which might suggest a year (perhaps 2) is a good compromise for listing a film in the Top 250.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Great list you've got there - very interesting. Pity you can't rate lists,
Thank you for the compliment, Emperor. This is one of my favorite lists.

As a fervent fan of Babylon 5 and of the IMDb, I was delighted that Babylon 5: The Gathering made the IMDb Top 250. The Gathering primarily dropped off the list because the IMDb Top 250 only includes feature films after November 1997. However, it would have eventually left the IMDb Top 250.
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Emperor, Champion

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As a massive fan of B5 myself, it is the one that caught my eye.

It is interesting to see the amount of turnover there has been, especially in 1997, and the few years afterwards, when I assume everyone was voting up their favourites resulting in a lot of "churn".
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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Thanks for the suggestion, but at this time we are not planning to introduce any changes to the voting system for the purpose of influencing the rating or delaying a title's appearance in the Top 250 etc..

As remarked by Emperor, this phenomenon is common and ratings tend to normalize relatively quickly once the film has been in release for a while, without the need to introduce any artificial manipulation of the rating.
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Shawn Bordoff

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Even with fair voting, it seems that the odds are stacked against the low budget film maker. We just have our first festival screening of our Documentary No Joke. It got great reviews and was rating around 9. This morning IMDB dropped it to 2.9 because they were suspicious of that rating and the members in charge have not even seen our film.
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Emperor, Champion

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That is a separate issue, see this thread:
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

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