I recently discovered a really cool feature on IMDb. Click on any film and you can see the film’s average rating (1 to 10) amongst site visitors who have voted on that particular film. It also shows how many people have voted to make up that individual film’s rating. The really cool feature happens when you click on the total number of voters. It takes you to a demographics page, illustrating how men and women of various ages have voted for that particular film. The possibilities with something like this are limitless, and I can’t wait to dig into it a little bit more. But for now, there’s no better place to start than with everyone’s favorite master of melancholy, Ingmar Bergman. Here’s how the various demographics have voted for Ingmar Bergman films.
It’s worth noting that this data is good as of July 25, 2013. It constantly changes every day as more IMDb visitors vote on Bergman films. And the data is going to be heavily skewed towards Bergman’s greatest works. After all, more people have seen and will vote on The Seventh Seal (69,800 votes, to be exact) than, say, It Rains on Our Love (a whopping 441). Long story short- I’m no mathematician so I have no idea how to scrub out any sample bias towards his most popular films. Nor am I even sure that sample bias like that should be eliminated.
With all of that out of the way, let’s roll that fabulous bean footage. As always, click on the image to embiggen it.
I’ll admit that these charts aren’t as informative as I thought they might be. Of the 18 different breakdowns, 12 of them fall between 7.75 and 8.25. That means that the overwhelming majority of people voting on Bergman films, on average, feel almost exactly the same about his movies, regardless of age, gender, or country of origin. But there are some kernels of information in here. For instance, Bergman’s popularity takes a dive with all voters over the age of 45, and ESPECIALLY with women over the age of 45. Women under 18 don’t like Bergman nearly as much as the other categories, whereas men age 18-29 love him just as much as anyone. In terms of gender, almost all of the difference between men and women is accounted for by the under 18 and over 45 categories. The IMDb top 1,000 voters aren’t particularly Bergman fans compared to the rest of the sample, although that isn’t surprising.
The 7.97 overall average speaks volumes. For some perspective, for a film to crack the IMDb top 250, it would have to beat the current #250 film on the list- Celebration (1998). That film comes in with an average rating of 8.00. Bergman’s ENTIRE CATALOGUE averages 7.97. It takes a lot of profound appreciation for a lot of films to carry a top 250 rating across a career spanning seven decades. Or, in baseball terms, it’s a lot easier to bat .300 when you only have 10 at-bats than it is to bat .300 over a whole career.