Today I wanted to take a closer look at the evolution of a movie's metrics around its release time. Do ratings go up, down? How long does it take for the ratings to stabilize? What about a movie's metascore (aggregated score from www.metacritic.com based on "official" critics)?
To kick this off, I looked at three movies for which I had sufficient data: Ice Age 3, Savages and the Dark Knight Rises. I was also interested in the Dark Knight Rises to see if the events surrounding the Aurora shooting had any impact.
Ice Age 3: Continental Drift
For this move the number of voters really jumped the week after the release (dashed vertical line).
Metascore followed a similar evolution with a sharp decrease right around release date. The stabilization in rating makes more sense as not many magazines and newspapers review the movie after its release.
Unfortunately I was not able to gather any pre-release data for this movie, but interesting to see again that the biggest jump in IMDB voters occurred two weeks after release.
Again, the rating very quickly stabilized a few days after release to 6.8.
The metascore dropped fairly late although only by one point.
The Dark Knight Rises
Despite trying to pull IMDB data up to two weeks in advance I was not able to collect any pre-release data for the third installment of the Dark Knight series.
Ratings dropped steadily from 9.2 to 8.9 over two weeks, again suggesting a fairly quick stabilization, especially as the number of voters increases.
The metascore had a sharp dropoff right around the release date, and the shooting, although it is unclear if there is any type of relation. Based on our very limited sample size it seems that metascore and rating always tend to drop around the release.
I am currently pulling more data for these movies and 15 others, so come back to check updated and new results. I will also try a meta-analysis to see if there is some common pattern in the evolution of the metrics across all movies.