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Encyclopedia > Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

IMDb homepage in February 2008
URL www.imdb.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online movie, TV, and video game database
Registration Optional
Available language(s) English
Owner Amazon.com
Created by Col Needham
Launched October 17, 1990
Current status Active

## Overview

The IMDb website is essentially a free site. All of the basic database information is available without registration and without providing any personal information. However, to submit information or to use the message boards or some other features the IMDb requires registration. Some advanced features require verification which can sometimes require some personal financial information such as credit card details. Any person with an e-mail account and a web browser that accepts cookies can set up an account with IMDb that allows them to submit information and engage in many other site activities. IMDb has 57 million visitors, 17 million of which are registered users As of Wednesday, October 10, 2007. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... An example of a Web browser (Mozilla Firefox) A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. ... This article is about the HTTP state mechanism. ... October 2007 is the tenth month of that year. ...

Site visitors wishing only to view information without accessing interactive features are able to do so without registration and without providing any personal information. Database content is largely provided and updated by a cadre of volunteer contributors; although 20 members of the IMDb staff are dedicated to monitoring received data.[1] For automated queries, most of the database can be downloaded as compressed plain text files and the information can be extracted using the tools provided, typically using a command line interface.[2] Source coding redirects here. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

In 2002, the IMDb spun off a private, subscription-funded for profit site, IMDbPro, offering the entire content of the database plus additional information for business professionals, such as personnel contact details, titles in development, movie event calendars, and a greater range of industry news.

In 2006, IMDb introduced its "Resume subscription service", where actors and crew can post their own resume and upload photos of themselves[3] for a yearly fee[4]. IMDb resume pages are kept separately from the regular entry about that person, but a regular entry is automatically created for each resume subscriber who does not already have one.[5] A résumé (in North American English; also sometimes spelled resumé or resume) or curriculum vitae (in Commonwealth English; sometimes abbreviated to CV) is a document containing a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education, usually for the purpose of securing a new job. ...

## History

### In rec.arts.movies

The database originated from two lists started as independent projects in early 1989 by participants in the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.movies. In each case, a single maintainer recorded items emailed by newsgroup readers, and posted updated versions of his list from time to time. Google Groups coverage of rec.arts.movies is incomplete during the relevant time period, with a 6-month gap in late 1988 and early 1989 and a number of missing articles after that. Usenet (USEr NETwork) is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name. ... A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... E-mail, or email, is short for electronic mail and is a method of composing, sending, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. ... Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ...

It began with a posting titled "Those Eyes", on the subject of actresses with beautiful eyes. Hank Driskill began to collect a list of sexy actresses and what movies they had appeared in, and as the size of the repeated posting grew far beyond a normal newsgroup article, it soon became known simply as "THE LIST". Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ...

The other project, started by Chuck Musciano, was briefly called the "Movie Ratings List" and soon became the "Movie Ratings Report". Musciano simply asked readers to rate movies on a scale of one to ten, and reported on the votes. He soon began posting "ballots" with lists of movies for people to rate, so his list also grew quickly.

### As an independent company

In 1995, it became obvious to the principle site managers that the project had become too large to maintain merely through donations and in their spare time. The decision was made to become a commercial venture and in 1996, IMDb was incorporated in the United Kingdom, becoming the Internet Movie Database Ltd, with Col Needham the primary owner as well as identified figurehead. The remaining shareholders were the people maintaining the database. Revenue was generated through advertising, licensing and partnerships.

This state of affairs continued until 1998. The database was growing every day, and it was again reaching a critical point. Most revenues were being spent on equipment, and there was not enough money left over to pay full time salaries. The system was also suffering noticeable slowdowns both in accessing the site and in having new data posted. Offers were solicited and received from major businesses to purchase the database; however, the shareholders were unwilling to sell if it could not be guaranteed that the information would be accessible to the internet community for free.

### As a subsidiary company

In 1998, Jeff Bezos, founder, owner and CEO of Amazon.com struck a deal with Col Needham and other principal shareholders, to buy IMDb outright and attach it to Amazon as a subsidiary, private company.[7] This gave IMDb the ability to pay the shareholders salaries for their work, while Amazon.com would be able to use the IMDb as an advertising resource for selling DVDs and videotapes. Volunteer contributors were not advised in advance of even the possibility of IMDb - and their contributions along with it - being sold to a private business, which created some initial discord and defection of regulars. Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Amazon. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc - see Etymology) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ...

IMDb continues to expand its functionality. In 2002, it added a subscription service known as IMDbPro aimed at entertainment professionals. It provides a variety of services including production and box office details, as well as a company directory. Most information contained in the IMDb database proper continues to come from volunteer researchers. An additional incentive, since 2003, is that if they are identified as being one of "the top 100 contributors" in terms of amounts of hard data submitted, they receive complimentary free access to IMDbPro for the following calendar year; for 2006 this was increased to the top 150 contributors.[8] Film production on location in Newark, New Jersey. ... The term box office can refer to either: A place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to a venue The amount of business a particular production, such as a movie or theatre show, does. ...

## TV episodes

On 26 January 2006, the long-awaited "Full Episode Support" came online, allowing the database to support separate cast and crew listings for each episode of every TV series. This was described by Col Needham as "the largest change we've ever made to our data model," and increased the number of titles in the database from 485,000 to nearly 755,000. is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

At present, the database entries for TV series are in a state of flux, as listings are migrated from series titles to individual episodes. The maintainers anticipated "a couple of months for data to settle down and bugs to be ironed out", but inaccuracies were still present one year later.

## Characters filmography

On 2 October 2007 the characters filmography feature was launched. The feature is similar to the existing title, name and company feature, except now users can see by whom a certain character was played, read memorable quotes and a biography about the character. All data in the characters filmography is submitted by regular users and is largely not verified by the IMDb staff, in comparison to most other data that is first verified and might be rejected by the staff. This is possibly because very little new data is sent in, but rather already existing data is being connected together.[9] is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...

## Ancillary features

### User ratings of films

IMDb top 250 films, plotted by year and the sum of the ratings for movies from that year.

As one adjunct to data, the IMDb offers a rating scale that allows users to rate films by choosing one of ten categories in the range 1–10, with each user able to submit one rating. The points of reference given to users of these categories are the descriptions "1 (awful)" and "10 (excellent)"; and these are the only descriptions of categories. Due to the minimum category being scored one, the mid-point of the range of scores is 5.5, rather than 5.0 as might intuitively be expected given a maximum score of ten. This rating system has also recently been implemented for television programming on an episode-by-episode basis. Image File history File links IMDB_top_250. ... Image File history File links IMDB_top_250. ... A rating scale is a set of categories designed to elicit information about a quantitative attribute in social science. ...

In adopting this method, IMDb is following its widespread usage; the method is the same as rating in the range of a half star to five stars. When used in reviews by a single reviewer, the method has some basic utility given a rating is usually given in the context of a qualitative appraisal of the film. The simplicity of this method makes it popular, but in terms of psychometric, statistical and other criteria, the method suffers shortcomings (see online rating scales). Psychometrics is the science of measuring psychological aspects of a person such as knowledge, skills, abilities, or personality. ... A rating scale is a set of categories designed to elicit information about a quantitative attribute in social science. ...

#### Filters and weights

IMDb indicates that submitted ratings are filtered and weighted in various ways in order to produce a weighted mean that is displayed for each film, series, and so on. It states that filters are used to avoid vote stuffing; the method is not described in detail to avoid attempts to circumvent it. In statistics, given a set of data, X = { x1, x2, ..., xn} and corresponding weights, W = { w1, w2, ..., wn} the weighted mean is calculated as Note that if all the weights are equal, the weighted mean is the same as the arithmetic mean. ... Ballot stuffing is the act of one person submitting multiple ballots during a vote in which only one ballot per person is permitted. ...

#### Ranking

The IMDb Top 250 is intended to be a listing of the top 'rated' 250 films, based on ratings by the registered users of the website using the methods described.[10] Only non-documentary theatrical releases running at least forty-five minutes with over 1300 ratings are considered; all other products are ineligible[11]. Also, the 'top 250' rating is based on only the ratings of "regular voters". The exact number of votes a registered user would have to make to be considered to be a user who votes regularly has been kept secret. IMDb has stated that to maintain the effectiveness of the top 250 list they "deliberately do not disclose the criteria used for a person to be counted as a regular voter".[12] In addition to other weightings, the top 250 films are also based on a weighted rating formula referred to in actuarial science as a credibility formula.[13] This label arises because a statistic is taken to be more credible the greater the number of individual pieces of information; in this case from eligible users who submit ratings. IMDb uses the following formula to calculate the weighted rating:

$W = {Rv + Cmover v+m}$

where:

$W$ = Weighted Rating
$R$ = average for the movie as a number from 0 to 10 (mean) = (Rating)
$v$ = number of votes for the movie = (votes)
$m$ = minimum votes required to be listed in the Top 250 (currently 1300)
$C$ = the mean vote across the whole report (currently 6.7)

An extended listing of the Top 500 - following the same formula - is available to IMDbPro subscribers.

The IMDb also has a Bottom 100 feature which is assembled in the same way.[14] Although the Top 250 films generally do not shift much (the "great" films are typically better known, and therefore have a high number of votes and a higher popularity inertia) the "winner" of the Bottom one hundred changes frequently. The potential for skewing bottom 100 film ratings resulted in an apocryphal account during IMDb's early years in which a disproportionate number of "Bottom 100" films were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is said to be a result of an MST3K website encouraging all its users to register with IMDb and vote "1" on films featured on the show. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (often abbreviated MST3K, sometimes MST 3000 or MST 3K or just MST) is an American cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc. ...

The top 250 list comprises a wide strata of films, including major releases, cult films, independent films, critically acclaimed films, silent films and non-English language films.

### Plot-related features and spoiler warnings

IMDb main pages for each film include one or more of the sections titled Plot outline, Plot synopsis, and Plot keywords, and separate pages for Plot summary and Plot synopsis. The Plot synopsis pages are accessed through links that notify the reader a spoiler may be included.[15] This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The plot outline is a short summary of the premise with a general overview, usually not including details that may be considered to be spoilers. The plot outline is presented on the main page for the film if short enough, and if it extends beyond a couple of lines includes a "more" link that opens to the Plot summary page for the film.

On the Plot summary page, IMDb includes the full text of the plot outline, along with the first few lines of the plot synopsis, followed by a link to a further more detailed page, with the link text written as "more (warning! contains spoilers)".[16]

The plot synopsis is a more complete summary of the plot that can be edited by readers of IMDb, often including twists and turns that some readers may consider to be spoilers and may not want to know about if they have not yet seen the film.[17] IMDb places the synopsis on a separate page, with a link on the film's main page using text that advises the reader as follows: "View full synopsis. (warning! may contain spoilers)". The separate Plot synopsis page includes the headline "Warning! This synopsis contains spoilers. See plot summary for non-spoiler summarized description."[18]

The IMDb User's Guide advises user contributors to avoid revealing spoilers outside of the synopsis section where they are covered by the spoiler warning in the page headline. IMDb also provides a spoiler warning template for use when spoilers occur in an unexpected location, for example, according to their help page, when a synopsis includes a spoiler for a different movie.[17] In the IMDb Submission Guide for the "Trivia and Goofs" page section and for their message boards, the guide states that spoilers should be avoided in general in those sections, but that if a spoiler is included, it must be preceded by an announcement, such as using the word "SPOILER:" or their provided spoiler template. [19][20][21]

Plot keywords are keywords that contributors to the IMDb submit. These are keywords regarding objects and occurrences in each film on the IMDb.[22]

### Message boards

One of the most used features of the Internet Movie Database is the Message Boards that coincide with every title (excepting TV episodes) and name entry, along with forty-seven Main Boards. These boards allow registered users to share, discuss and debate information about the movie and/or people that worked on it. They were not originally part of the IMDb, but were added only after its purchase by Amazon.com, some time in the year 2000.

As the IMDb expires older posts from all message boards variably, it is difficult to precisely measure traffic according to individual board, but the Soapbox and the Sandbox are amongst the highest traffic boards on IMDb. The Soapbox is a general purpose discussion board, where users can go for "their more heated discussions".[23] The Sandbox is a general purpose, anything-goes board designated for test messages and off-topic posts.[24] For other meanings of sandbox, see Sandbox (disambiguation). ...

Boards for various political persons (most notably President George W. Bush) have also been used for political discussion. On May 9, 2007, a "Politics" message board was created.[25] George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...

### My movies

Registered users also have access to "my movies," which is a database that can be created by any registered user.[26]
The user can sort the content of that database according to several criteria, such as vote history. [27]

The home page has had some changes over the years. Mostly showing new features on the site and recent releases.

All volunteers who contribute content to the database retain copyright to their contributions but grant full rights to copy, modify, and sublicense the content to IMDb. Not to be confused with copywriting. ...

### Foreign-language films

The Internet Movie Database is written completely in English (although it does have sister websites in Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (and Brazilian Portuguese) , Romanian and Spanish). Despite this, IMDb lists the titles of foreign-language films in their original language. This requires English-speaking users to search far down the front-page listing for a film, into the "Additional Details" section, just as non-English speakers must do for English titled films. For example, the Japanese anime film Spirited Away is listed as Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi, the original Japanese title, but in the Latin alphabet.[28] English-speaking readers must look down below the cast list to find the English title. English-speaking users browsing IMDb's Top 250 list must click the listing for Wo hu cang long to discover that that film is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Spirited Away , literally Sen and Chihiros Spiriting Away) is an Academy Award winning 2001 film by the Japanese anime studio Studio Ghibli, written and directed by famed animator Hayao Miyazaki. ... For other uses, see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (disambiguation). ...

## References

1. ^ Meet the staff. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-06-07.
2. ^ Alternate Interfaces. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
3. ^ Lycos Europe and IMDb sign sales agreement for 9 European markets. Lycos Europe press release, July 10, 2006
4. ^ IMDb Resume FAQ: Can I subscribe only for one month or one year? (accessed January 22, 2008)
5. ^ IMDb Resume FAQ: Is there any difference between a regular IMDb name page and an IMDb name page created via IMDb Resume? (accessed January 22, 2008)
6. ^ MRRLIST: Combined LIST & Movie Ratings Report. Google Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
7. ^ News Release. PR Newswire Europe Ltd.. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
8. ^ IMDb announcement: Top 150 Contributors for 2006. IMDb messageboard posting (requires registration). Retrieved on 2007-07-15.
9. ^ "Character Help Overview", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-10-02.
10. ^ "Top 250 movies as voted by our users", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
11. ^ "Types of titles excluded from the Top 250", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-04-25.
12. ^ The user votes average on film X is 9.4, so it should appear in your top 250 films listing, yet it doesn't. Why?
13. ^ Ragnar Norberg, Department of Statistics. "Credibility Theory" (.PDF). London School of Economics. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
14. ^ "Bottom 100", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
15. ^ example of IMDb main film page, with plot outline, plot summary page link, and full plot synopsis link with spoiler warning. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
16. ^ Plot summary page example with spoiler warning. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
17. ^ a b synopsis user editing instructions. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
18. ^ Plot synopsis page example with spoiler warning. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
19. ^ Handy Hints - Trivia and Goofs section. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
20. ^ Submission Guide: Goofs section. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
21. ^ Message Boards Etiquette. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
22. ^ Submission Guide: Keywords. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
23. ^ "The Soapbox", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
24. ^ "The Sandbox", IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-03-01.
25. ^ Board: Politics
26. ^ What Is IMDb's My Movies service?. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
27. ^ How do I create a personalized movie list with My Movies?. IMDb. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
28. ^ Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 115th day of the year (116th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Results from FactBites:

 The Internet Movie Database - TvWiki, the free encyclopedia (2340 words) By 1993, the database had been expanded to include additional jobs as well as trivia, biographies, and plot summaries; the movie ratings had been properly integrated with the list data; and a centralised email interface for querying the database had been created. The database was growing every day, and it was again reaching a critical point; revenues were being spent on equipment, and shareholders were finding it difficult to reconcile the fact that for all their hard work they themselves were getting very little income. For instance, newly released movies commonly find their initial ratings artificially inflated by fans who are more likely to see a movie first and develop a love-at-first-sight impression of it, which is contrary to the commonly held belief that a truly great movie should hold up to repeat viewings.
 Internet Movie Database - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3516 words) By 1993, the database had been expanded to include additional categories of filmmakers and other demographic material, as well as trivia, biographies, and plot summaries; the movie ratings had been properly integrated with the list data; and a centralised email interface for querying the database had been created. Over the next few years, the database was run on a network of mirrors across the world with donated bandwidth. The decision was made to become a commercial venture and in 1996, IMDb was incorporated in the United Kingdom, becoming the Internet Movie Database Ltd, with Col Needham the primary owner as well as identified figurehead.
More results at FactBites »

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