Can IMDB Predict The Academy Awards?

I’ve always found the average user ratings on the Internet Movie Database to be the most reliable measure of entertainment, at least when it comes to my personal cinematic tastes. Is it always right? No, but I tend to agree with the average rankings on IMDb more than Rotten Tomatoes (which is sometimes too pretentious), Netflix (five stars isn’t enough) and Flixter. But can IMDB predict the Oscars? Awards Daily has a theory that the IMDB top 250 list is a good indication of Best Picture Nomination consideration. Here are the facts:

  • 11 of the top 15 movies on IMDb were Best Picture Nominees (73%)
  • 32 of the top 50 movies on IMDb were BPNs (64%)

Discounting the four foreign language titles, the four neglected Hitchcock films, and the two David Fincher titles, the percentage rises to 80%. So Awards Daily theorizes that “unless your name is Hitchcock or you speak a funny language, your movie on this top 50 list stands a 4 out of 5 chance of getting a Best Picture nomination.”

One could argue that hindsight is 20/20, and obviously IMDb wasn’t around when many of these films were released. So there is no way to see their ranking before they were nominated, but whatever.

So we have this theory, but what does it tell us? Well, not much actually. The only two films released in 2008 that are ranked in the IMDb’s top 50 are The Dark Knight (#4) and WALL-E (#31). Read into that what you will. Awards Daily theorizes that Christopher Nolan could join the ranks of Hitchcock and Fincher as a director who is neglected by the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.

Also, could WALL-E’s placement mean that the film has a chance at a Best Picture nomination? It will surely win best animated feature, but I doubt it will get a Best Picture nod. Although, it is bound to happen eventually. Last year Brad Bird’s Ratatouille had substantial Best Picture Oscar buzz.

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