IMDB Changes Rating System After Tidal Wave of Reviews





After debuting on May 26th, The Little Mermaid received harsh ratings on IMDB as well as other review sites. Some fans of the original Disney animated film were none too pleased about the live-action film, to put it politely, long before the film was released in theaters. 

IMDB has since changed the review process to prevent “review bombing”, which occurs when massive amounts of people leave bad reviews for a film or series that often has nothing to do with the project itself. These reviews tend to use a lot of the same wording and phrasing. They tend to be posted in clumps, so they stick out amongst valid reviews.

This appears to be the case with The Little Mermaid, which currently has an IMDB rating of 7 out of 10 stars. Overall, the film’s IMDB page shows around 22,000 one-star reviews, totaling 41.1 percent of all ratings. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, and Hungary all have 1-star reviews for over 31.5 percent of all reviews. Over 71.3 percent of reviews from Hungary alone are one star, giving the movie 2.3 out of 10 stars.

A message appears on The Little Mermaid’s IMDB rating page stating:

“Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.”

A tidal wave of people took issue with a Black actress (Halle Bailey) being cast as Ariel, straying from Disney’s trademarked pale-skinned ginger. Although the Disney animated version of The Little Mermaid hosted a number of its own variations from the original story written by Hans Chrisitan Anderson, few are concerned with those inaccuracies. 

For instance, the mermaid in the 1837 story was never named, vaguely described, and opted out of the land of the living by her own hand towards the end of the story. Her original motives for leaving the sea were also altered to suit the Disney princess mold.

IMDB did not disclose exactly how its new “weighted” ranking was calculated, but considering The Little Mermaid has already netted over $211.3 million in box office sales in its first week, it seems audiences are enjoying the film more than online review tallies erroneously lead us to believe. At this rate, the new version will theatrically outperform the original Disney animated version.

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