December 25, 2015 

Sortable IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes Data

After publishing my Rotten Tomatoes script, the site was updated to show both Audience and Critic scores. I like to take credit for that, but I don't think that is the case.

The site change made my script unusable, but was no longer needed. I had been using the new site to find movies to watch until I was contacted by Michael from Meta Film List. He came across my script and was wanting to sort movies based on voting information on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.

To start finding movies, I used the Advanced Title Search to find Feature Films with 1,000 minimum votes at the following page: http://www.imdb.com/search/title?num_votes=1000,&title_type=feature. There are over 20,000 movies and includes the title, year, genres, rating, votes, and runtime. With a simple script, all the data is saved to a file

To find the matching movie in Rotten Tomatoes, the search feature was used at http://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/?search=. Using the search either showed a list of possible movies or redirected to the movie page. If the search was redirected, the correct movie page was found. If the search did go straight to the movie, a movie was chosen from the results that would be the best guess. The best match looked for matching the movie title and year. The second best looked for matching titles with years one year apart(for some reason both sites show different years for the same movie). The next best match looked for movies with different names, but the same year(sometimes a moive will have variants in the title). The last level looked for different names a year apart. Although there is some guess work going on, the search feature is pretty accurate at showing the correct movie. These can later be verified by comparing the actors, but that will be saved for later.

With data from both sites, some interesting searches can be done. For instance: you can find movies that audiences loved but critics hated, the most loved movies, the most hated movies, the best movie by year, and the best movie by genre. With so many variables, it is very easy to find a great movie that you may have missed.

The complete list can be seen at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o6X171oY7DiHcXxUi-q0J6h36PuAmUCEm28wnjV7IE8/edit?usp=sharing. All movie information from both sites are shown, including links to both sites and the method used to match them.

Special thanks to Michael at Meta Film List for coming up with the project. You can read more about his project at http://metafilmlist.blogspot.co.uk/p/home-page.html