Damn you, MovieMeter!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 @ 9:57 am | Headline, News, Other

We’ve just returned from the Cannes, where we had our best market ever in the history of The Asylum (sorry, haters, we’re set for the next couple years…). But we also heard a disturbing bit of news from some of our friends who were also selling movies: Apparently, some Buyers were coming to meetings armed with IMDB ratings for the films they were considering.

This didn’t happen to us, but in between meetings, I checked and discovered that the average rating for our films over the last two years was a little over 3.0 (I did the math, you can check it).

Now, I’m a big fan of IMDB. The $100 a year I spend on the Pro version is the best investment Ive ever made. I use it every single day. But never to check the ratings of movies.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t pay attention to the ratings or reviews on IMDB because I am absolutely convinced that the only people who review films on the site are 11 year old boys and other basement dwellers.

How could it be otherwise? If you’re a person who spends your time writing reviews on IMDB, you obviously don’t have a job. Or a girlfriend. There’s no benefit to you, like queue recommendations. All you get is a platform for self-indulgent ranting (sort of like a blog).

My theory is further supported by the fact that Fan Boy favorites maintain higher than average MovieMeter ratings than other films. Sucker Punch was #1 on the MovieMeter long after the film disappeared from the box office charts.

I realize that MovieMeter “interest” in a movie isn’t the same thing as a rating, but any statistical data without controls are meaningless. I personally know of several filmmakers who have artificially boosted their IMDB ratings by getting their friends to positively review their movies (uh… I’ve maybe even done it myself…).

On the other hand, I’m also a believer in the old adage that “if three people tell you you’re drunk, you’d better lie down.” I looked at the recent Studio movies and saw that they average around 7.0 (I didn’t do the math, I just kinda eyeballed it). They spend at least 100 times more money on their movies than we do, so I guess it makes sense that they’re rated higher. Maybe the ratings are statistically accurate. Maybe our movies are only “3s.”

I just hope our buyers don’t start checking…

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    13 Responses to “Damn you, MovieMeter!”

    1. inmate977 Says:

      as a basement-dwelling blogger, i completely agree about IMDB reviews. it’s like buying a car based on the opinions of the birds who crap on it.

    2. Josh Trett Says:

      Should we go in and rate your movies 10 to bring up the ratings?
      Josh.

    3. Trevor Says:

      Obviously you can’t compete with the bigger Hollywood budgets. So in that sense your stuff is a 3. But I’ve seen some of your flicks that rate higher, like a 5. Also imdb meters and rating are only a good way of telling what a small portion of imdb users think of a film. That being said Almighty Thor has 2.4/10 stars BUT is currently at 435 in the movie meter down from a high of 73, which is a ton of people looking at it.

    4. Rick Says:

      I dig IMDBPro (a great tool something all film students need) but the ratings on IMDB (or Netflix etc.) I’ve always ignored. The reason being that many times people are rating long in advance of the movie’s release. You have a film that might only play one one sneak preview of a few hundred people but several thousands have given negative ratings.

      Or the more common practice: it’s announced and instantly is pounced on. Heck, on Netflix ‘Captain America’ is already holding a 3.5 outta 5 rating. Not even out.

      IMDB has gotten better by cutting off the ratings before release; but for many films, damage is probably already done. Or you have as you put: “11 year old boys and other basement dwellers.” waiting to spring the moment the page offers stars.

    5. Movie Serpent Says:

      The proof is in the money! More power to any company that can turn a profit!
      Personally, I don’t pay attention to ratings.

    6. Darrell Says:

      You are a prime example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood today.

    7. Creative Anarchy Says:

      I hate to break your heart but you’re not putting out Suckerpunches or Captain Americas. Your production values are what you can afford your writing is what you can get and your actors are within your budget, and movie fans regardless of age or dwelling aren’t oblivious. A surprisingly large number of Asylum films have turned up in threads about the worst movies ever made. But who cares. You are a creator of the lost art of the B-movie. You’re not making movies about topless spring break parties or super-intelligent tentacled sharks in hopes of winning over people who love movies. Screw the ratings, they aren’t there to measure the kind of work you do.

    8. Ed Says:

      IMDB ratings and reviews are written by people who a: hardly watch the films and b: are unprofessionals.
      (The number of times I have had to correct an IMDB quote? I have lost count. IMDB is NOT an authority. Its a hobby site).

      So who am I to say? Well, the greatest gift we can give anyone is an opinion.
      Every genre or art house started somewhere (look at Tarantino’s early, B movie work).
      Asylum is an art form in its own right and it has a right to make movies the way they want to like everyone has a right to an express an opinion the way they want to.
      Asylum? Keep on making these movies and keep on bringing what has to be the best in alternative film entertainment anywhere.
      … and we, your customers, will keep on watching them and buying them.

    9. Mike Schneider Says:

      People who enjoy your stuff spend their time enjoying it. People who don’t enjoy it have to get their enjoyment by other means… like trashing it.

      Lets not compare hamburgers to steaks. You, my friend, make a mighty fine hamburger. It’s not fancy… it doesn’t need to be.

      If you want to get dressed up, drop some bills, and make it an event then you go for steak because when they start with a prime cut of meat they’d have to really fuck it up for it to not be somewhat satisfying.

      Hamburgers aren’t like that. You’re starting with bone scrapings and making something out of it. They’re cheap but they do the job. Hell, they do more then that. No matter how bad or greasy… we’ve all crave them from time to time.

      At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is get dressed up and sit around waiting to be seated and served. It’s too much. You want something quick, simple, and cheap that you can grab by the sac and scarf down while throwing back drinks and unwinding.

      Nobody believes Burger King is the crowning achievement of fine dining… but you know what… billions served, regular customers, clear identity, consistent product, and people crave it from time to time.

      The only thing I’m itching for is some creature names. I love giant animal flicks but I’m still waiting on that title creature to step up and pull the ‘Destroy All Mega-Wildlife’ flicks together. ( Well that and maybe some Mega-Mammals… like a 50 story kitten who uses skyscrapers as scratching posts or a cow that was injected with experimental growth hormones to increase it’s size and milk production. )

    10. Mike Schneider Says:

      I almost forgot to end with a joke.

      Why do animals from The Asylum make good pets?
      …because they always come prefixed.

    11. Can Do Says:

      There are plenty of big-budget movies that are poor, you can’t use that excuse. People dislike films from The Asylum because they have bad scripts and bad acting

    12. Angelo Bell Says:

      There’s an interesting takeaway to the flawed IMDB ratings and movie meter. A movie with a 3.0 rating and thousands of votes means people are watching. I’ll take that over a 7.0 with only 500 votes any day!

    13. Tysto Says:

      I totally want to meet that guy in the basement dweller pic. He seems like an awesome guy. We would have a lot in common.

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