‘Ghostbusters’ Haters Are Spamming IMDb With Low Ratings
As you probably recall, the trailer for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters became the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history thanks to a certain contingency of very vocal fans of Ivan Reitman’s original film. It would appear that those fans are at it again, this time taking to IMDb, where they’re spamming the ratings for Feig’s reboot to ensure it has a low user score. Unsurprisingly, the majority of voters are men between the ages of 18 and 44. And while the exact point of this little exercise in anti-Ghostbusters activism is unclear, what is apparent is that these guys aren’t letting this whole thing go anytime soon.
If you head over to the IMDb page for Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, you’ll notice that the film has a user rating of 3.6 out of 10, which isn’t the lowest rating on the site — that honor belongs to a Turkish film from 2015 called Code Name: K.O.Z. (rating: 1.5), followed closely by Kirk Cameron’s faith-based family comedy Saving Christmas (rating: 1.6). But what makes the Ghostbusters rating particularly notable is that the film doesn’t even hit theaters until this weekend, and most of the early promo screenings for the general public aren’t taking place until sometime this week.
…Which means most of these people are rating the new Ghostbusters without seeing it first. I suppose that shouldn’t be terribly surprising, since many of the people giving Feig’s reboot a low rating are presumably the same people who drove up the dislikes on YouTube and who have been very vocal in their disdain for an all-female take on their beloved Ghostbusters.
IMDb has a helpful statistical breakdown of the votes, which sheds some light on this truly bizarre attack:
As you can see, there’s a reasonable amount of positive votes: 523 users rated the film a 10, while 100 users gave it an 8. Even the lower ratings (between 2 and 5) come from a totally inconspicuous number of users. But then you get to the 1 / 10 rating, and…1,564 users?! That’s a lot.
IMDb further breaks it down by gender and age, which is where our real “a-ha!” moment comes in — though it can’t be much of an “a-ha!” moment considering how woefully unsurprising this whole thing has become:
The ratings come from 1,865 men and 169 women — a huge disparity in voters, with the average for the former sitting at 3.6 and the latter at 5.4. Of the total number of male users, 758 between the ages of 18 and 29 gave an average rating of 4, while 834 between the ages of 30 and 44 gave an average rating of 3.1. For the women, those averages are considerably a bit higher, though not by too much.
It doesn’t take much in the deductive reasoning department to figure out that there are way more men casting votes, and they’re ranking the film a heck of a lot lower than women. If you went back in time and told me that in the near future, one of the most nerd-accessible directors would make an all-female Ghostbusters reboot and it would become this bizarre hill to die on, I would have laughed it off. But here we are, with people so upset about this reboot that they’re attacking its IMDb ratings without even giving the film a chance. It seems unhealthy.
And the fact of the matter is that Ghostbusters currently has a 77 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That rating is based on 61 reviews, with an average of 6.5 / 10. That’s not great, but it’s not bad, either. Many critics think that Feig’s reboot is flawed but ultimately fun, and OK at best. And of over 69,000 Rotten Tomatoes users, 90 percent said they want to see the film.
Taking that into account gives us a little more perspective on the situation; it proves that the 1,865 men on IMDb are a minority — a very, very vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless. And if writing about this movie for the past year has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t reason with that particular group, but looking at the positive reviews and the thousands of people who want to see this movie makes me feel like we don’t really have to. They can keep spamming IMDb with their 1 / 10 ratings, but the only thing they’re really accomplishing is the point-and-click equivalent of a petulant pout.