Maybe, but more no than yes.
We spend more and more money on movies even in times of television and the internet. So, not a big surprise, that more and more movies are being made.
Median rating of all movies in the IMDB database is declining. Is it a sign of movies getting worse? No, its a sign of more movies being made, when this art is accessible to not only exceptional talents but mediocre talents as well. Anyway, who watches 2000 movies a year? Let’s become picky.
Let’s pick the most popular 200 movies each year and calculate their median. Now there is a stable trend – median popular movie usually has a rating of just around 6.4. (Movie popularity is measured in the number of ratings on IMDB). That’s good.
Now let’s take 200 top-rated movies each year with at least 25 000 ratings. A sharp decline becomes visible! And before the 80s not many such movies existed at all. So, if you like only top-rated popular movies, you might experience deterioration in their quality. Sequels of Transformers are getting worse and worse.
However there are great lesser-known movies, especially those made in non-English speaking countries, so they get less attention and therefore fewer ratings. I’d subjectively say that a good lesser-known movie has at least 4000 ratings. If we pick 200 best such movies, we get a different view – often a median movie will have a rating higher than 7, and no permanent downward trend is present. Great!
What: Movie earnings in USD billion adjusted for inflation.
The number of movies – with more than 100, 4000 and 25 000 ratings.
IMDB movie ratings indicate the median rating calculated for every year, and a trend line fitted using a generalized additive model.
All movies – those which have at least 100 ratings
Most popular movies – 200 most rated but having at least 100 ratings (because there were times when less than 200 movies were made).
Top-rated popular movies – 200 top-rated movies from those having at least 25 000 ratings.
Top-rated movies for cinephiles – 200 top-rated movies from those having at least 4000 ratings.
If less than 40 movies left remaining after filtering – no rating calculated for that year.
When: 1968 – 2019
Where: Movie earnings represent earnings around the globe.
IMDB for ratings and number of movies
the-numbers.com for movie earnings.
WB and IMF for inflation used to adjust earnings.