Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why Do Older People Hate The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus?

This is a recently released movie which you can read about at IMDB The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. In economics, we say that tastes and preferences affect demand, but we usually don't talk much about how those tastes or preferences are formed. But at IMDB, people can rate a movie on a scale from 1 to 10. Then you can view the breakdown on how the movie was rated by age and gender categories. And then you can see the breakdown for a given group, like females aged 45+. You can see how many of them gave the movie a 1 or 2, etc. 10 is the best, 1 is the worst. Here is something I just posted at IMDB to get a discussion going about a strange pattern I see in the rankings:

I have not seen this movie. What seems weird is that 102 females age 45+ have voted yet they give it a 3.7? (the overall average is 7.4). Males that age don't rate it very higly either. Why? Why would old people not like this? I look at movie ratings at IMDB occassionally and I don't recall seeing such a huge young/old split before. Please tell me about other movies where this happens. Also, 41 of the Females Aged 45+ gave this movie a 10 while 27 have given it a 1. They either loved it or hated it? I don't see any of the other demographic groups with such a love/hate viewpoint. Seems very strange.

Here is the breakdown as of 1-10-2009

See user ratings report for:

Votes Average
Males 5,190 7.4 (this means that 5,190 males have voted and the average ranking is 7.4)
Females 1,503 7.2
Aged under 18 400 8.3
Males under 18 228 8.9
Females under 18 171 7.0
Aged 18-29 4,556 7.7
Males Aged 18-29 3,557 7.7
Females Aged 18-29 987 7.9
Aged 30-44 1,357 7.0
Males Aged 30-44 1,118 7.0
Females Aged 30-44 231 6.4
Aged 45+ 368 5.5
Males Aged 45+ 265 5.9
Females Aged 45+ 102 3.7
Top 1000 voters 87 6.3
US users 902 6.8
Non-US users 5,798 7.5

IMDb users 6,993 7.4

102 Females Aged 45+ have given a weighted average vote of 3.7 / 10

Demographic breakdowns are shown below.

Votes Percentage Rating
41 40.2% 10
9 8.8% 9
15 14.7% 8
6 5.9% 7
3 2.9% 6
1 1.0% 4
27 26.5% 1


Anonymous said...

The "Females Aged 45+" group is given a weight higher than other demographic groups, because it is usually the smallest one of all. Users of all ages make accounts under that age/sex group so their vote is given a higher worth. That's why you mostly see 1s and 10s on that group.

This is all speculation, as the method of calculating a film's ratings is not made public by the IMDb.

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Yes, we don't know for sure who is really male or female and how old they are. I guess that is self reported. But now feamles 45+ give it a 6.7 while the overall rating is 7.1. So it could have just been an anomaly.