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The validity of movie rating systems

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I hope everyone knows you can’t trust any statistics someone gives you if they’re trying to sell you something. Whether it’s the criminally inaccurate graphs that frequent a FOX News story or “4 out of 5 dentists” recommend Brand X toothpaste. Numbers don’t lie, but people… They lie all the time by manipulating those numbers.

The blog FiveThirtyEight recently exposed how Fandango’s movie ratings are skewed compared to everyone else’s ratings. The highlights of the FiveThirtyEight article is that Fandango rounds their ratings up to the nearest half-star. So a movie with 4.01 stars becomes a 4.5, and so on. The primary difference between Fandango and everyone else is that Fandango is trying to sell you a movie ticket. Something to keep in mind.

I’ve done my own movie rating analysis of movie franchises using numbers from IMDb and RottenTomatoes. Taking into account hundreds of movies there is remarkable agreement between the two rating systems.

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The World’s Most Indispensable Movie App

The RunPee app tells you the best times to
run & pee during a movie
so you don't miss the best scenes.

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IMDb 70%
RT-Users 72%
RT-Critics 67%

I don’t think it’s any surprise that critics score movies lower on average. I think it’s part of the job description for being a movie critic. 🙂

Here at RunPee we have our own movie rating system: The Peeple’s Poll. Our poll is only about 2 years old so we have far less data than the others, but we make up for it in accuracy. We give you not only the overall rating of a movie but also break it down by your gender and age group.

We’re just getting started

RunPee: redesign of the Timer screen
Here’s a look at the new Timer design in the RunPee app update.

In case you didn’t know my wife and I are in the process of rebuilding the RunPee app from scratch using a new programming language/framework: Google Flutter. In the process we’re refining the movie rating system and will apply machine learning algorithms to the data so that we can suggest new movies to you that you haven’t seen. This isn’t much different than what NetFlix does, except we’ll do it for recent releases so you can better decide which movies to see in the theater and which to wait for the DVD/Netflix.


Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and coming soon Inside Out 2, Despicable Me 4  and many others. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today’s blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there’s a new film out there, we’ve got your bladder covered.

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