IMDb Rating Finally In!

IMDB1 IMDB has finally updated our user rating and we have our score – as write this, it’s 8.6 which is derived from 75 votes – in the screengrab here you can see the breakdown of those votes, which is interesting. IMDB weight these scores, so you will see that we actually have a score of 9.4 (!), but have been dropped down to 8.6.

IMDB2 The reason it took as long as it did to get ‘registered’ is explained in an email I got from IMDb creator and owner, Col Needham…

… a film must have a release date on IMDb before the rating is published. Until the first release date all votes are held in limbo. This is to stop "fanboys" from stuffing the ballot for their favourite unseen titles before they are released. We've queued up and updated to add your July LA screenings and the upcoming Oldenburg date so the votes should be counted & live within a few days…
Col Needham Founder & managing director, IMDb

And as for the weighting of votes, here is what they say about it on the site…

'The User Rating score of a title in the Internet Movie Database is based on a "weighted average" of the votes cast by our large base of registered users on a 1 to 10 scale (10 being best). Weighting takes into account additional factors and calculations besides just the number of people who voted and what their votes were. That means it is not the arithmetic average or arithmetic mean of the scores, though those can be seen by looking at the detailed breakdown of the user ratings.

We use this formula to help prevent organized groups of people from attempting to "stuff the ballot box" and create an artificially inflated (or deflated) rating for a title. To prevent abuse of the system, we do not disclose what the additional factors and calculations in the formula are.

We have carefully refined the weighting formula over the many years the database has been in operation, with all titles being affected by it equally, so as to provide the maximum levels of fairness and accuracy across the board. Though IMDb staff votes may be displayed as a category in the detailed breakdown of the voting, the staff or non-staff status of voters is not a part of the weighting formula and does not affect the final weighted score. And because of the universal application of the weighting formula, no title has been or can be singled out for ratings manipulation by our staff…'

It seems pretty reasonable really. As a guide, Andrea Arnold’s 2003 short, Wasp, which won the Oscar, has a rating of 7.6 (with a ‘real’ score or 7.9). But the great thing for Wasp is the number of votes, which is 386!

Onward and Upward!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

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