Last spring, Five Thirty-Eight's Walt Hickey published analysis of the IMDB ratings of women-oriented entertainment (like Sex in the City), showing that the ratings for these shows were artificially depressed because men went out of their way to give them extremely low scores.
The new Ghostbusters movie has been the subject of an orchestrated campaign by sad manbabies — who are themselves expertly and hilariously skewered in the movie — who've given it over 13,000 1-star ratings on IMDB as of this writing. This is just the tip of the iceberg: Leslie Jones, the film's black star, was hounded off of Twitter by a sustained attack of vile, racist, sexist attacks orchestrated by Breitbart writer and Gamergate cult-of-personality leader Milo Yiannopoulos (Twitter has now permanently barred Yiannopoulos from the service).
But as overt as these attacks are, the downranking campaigns may have a longer-lasting impact, lowering the film's profile on recommendation engines and costing it residuals down the line. It doesn't help that China, the world's second-largest film market, has blocked the film for unspecific reasons that have been variously attributed to its supernatural themes (a taboo among politburo censors), its gay themes (ditto), and the lack of popularity of the earlier two movies in China.
Shortly before the movie's release, Hickey looked at the early numbers on IMDB, finding that 12,000 people had already rated it. The raters were overwhelmingly male (5:1), and, on average, scored Ghostbusters 4 points lower than woman reviewers. He uses this as a jumping-off point to demonstrate just how weird, inconsistent, easily gamed and meaningless movie-ratings scores are online.
My family went to see Ghostbusters last night. We laughed ourselves silly, and our 8-year-old daughter can't stop talking about it. It was fantastically, hilariously funny, deliciously spooky, and filled with pointed subtext about the whiny dudes who can't stand the idea that women might be represented onscreen. I ordered two Jillian Holtzmann action-figures (one for the kid, one for me) on the way home (they're sold out now, though you can buy one from a scalper at a 200% markup.
Conveniently enough, seeing Ghostbusters is both a wonderful way to spend a couple hours, and a way to strike a blow against the worst people on the internet.
Based on the IMDb reviews, a lot of men on the internet (who may or may not have actually seen the film) really hate the new "Ghostbusters." A lot of women on the internet (who may or may not have actually seen the film) seem pretty into it. Based on the Metacritic score and the average Rotten Tomatoes scores, "Ghostbusters," like most summer movies, is merely a mediocre-to-good film, critically speaking. And based on the Rotten Tomatoes scores for top critics, professional critics are split on whether it's worth seeing. But based on the larger pool of critics, three out of four of them think it's worth a ticket.
'Ghostbusters' Is A Perfect Example Of How Internet Movie Ratings Are Broken
[Walt Hickey/Five Thirty-Eight]