Are IMDB ratings reliable?

The ratings system is not that popular for Telugu movies until last decade. There used to be reviews on print media which don’t give away entire story and never rate the movie. At that time, the use internet is limited and the reviews are limited to a handful of sites. But within the past decade, things have changed a lot and internet became as familiar as television. Audience started to check reviews and ratings before watching a movie, particularly when multiple movies release together. This lead to a competition among websites to publish review and rate movies.
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Telugu movies in IMDB:

IMDB is primarily a movie database site that provides information about as many movies as possible. The IMDB ratings are weighted average of ratings given by users. Most of them have absolutely no knowledge of films and they rate 10 stars to the movies they like and 1 star to those they don’t like. The ratings of almost all popular Telugu movies follow this trend, except that the fans always rate high and the haters always rate low. This leads to an extremely biased rating. The regular movies without a star cast are generally rated between 5 and 8, and they don’t change much.
We can clearly see this trend in recent movies ‘Rangasthalam’, ‘Bharat ane nenu’ and ‘Naa peru SuryaNaa illu India’. One thing common among these movies is that very small percentage of people give 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 stars ratings. Almost 80-90% of the users give them either 1, 8, 9 or 10. A huge number of people give 10 stars ratings only because of the star cast.
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So, most of the popular movies start with almost 10 stars ratings and slowly fall to around 7-8 over time. This is understandable as those users are ardent fans of those actors. But the madness doesn’t stop here. The IMDB ratings of Top 1000 voters to some of the greatest Telugu movies listed below.
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The ratings of classics:

They do it with a purpose, that is to get rid of them from Top 250 Indian films list. Eventually none of the Telugu movies is in Top 50 of this list, and none of our classics find a place in this list. This list is no benchmark to judge the movies and most other Hindi movies are equally unworthy. But the problem is that many users underrate classics to elevate average movies of current generation.
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This problem is not just limited to Indian cinema, but almost every movie suffers it. While Hollywood has other dedicated ratings sites like rotten-tomatoes and Metacritic, Indian cinema has no other option. If an actor or actress makes a controversial statement that offends a group of people, then they run a campaign to reduce the rating by giving 1 star ratings. Similarly, the fans run campaigns to increase the rating by giving 10 stars ratings. Several people decided to protest against such behavior and more than 20,000 people rated a North Korean movie titled ‘The interview’ 10 stars even before its release. Later, many general users of IMDB have given it lower ratings to bring it down.
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Accuracy of ratings distribution:

The IMDB ratings don’t represent normal distribution which is a sign of biased ratings. The tendency of huge number of 1 star or 10 stars ratings to movie that are neither terrible nor outstanding shows the influence of actors on movies. Many users, particularly youngsters give 10 stars ratings to movies even before watching it, just to show their loyalty. The user ratings of popular Telugu movies on IMDB are much higher than what most of them deserve. The initial ratings are always high and they eventually fall over time. So, IMDB ratings are no standard for comparing Telugu movies and we can consider them as a rating of popularity instead of quality.
Do you agree with the things mentioned in this article? Share your views below in comments.

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