Times of India Movie Reviews: The Freakonomical Scam Underneath (Part Two)
So ever since I wrote on this topic (read Part One here), I have been getting congratulatory emails, requests for the data I used to run the analysis and a few emails/ comments on my post contesting the validity of the analysis. I think some people didn’t really get it. What I had analyzed, hypothesized and then proven using data was that the gap in movie review ratings between TOI and IMDB (and not the actual rating on TOI itself) moves up whenever there is a bankable star in a movie.
However, I just wanted to take this data analysis further. (So expect there to be a part three or four as well later.) Just to silence the handful of critics my previous article attracted, I ran something that could conclusively prove TOI’s complicity in scamming the public (apropos movie reviews).
As I had explained in Part One, I have been, for some time, particularly pained by the disparity in TOI’s movie reviews versus reviews by independent reviewers like Masand/ Anupama Chopra. So what I did was take down movie reviews for 100 movies and compute the gap in movie ratings between TOI and IMDB (arguably the most unbiased movie reviewer possible).
Aside from my discoveries in part one, what is more damning is that the average movie review gap between TOI and IMDB goes up by a whopping 360% if the budget of a movie is higher than INR 32.76 Crore. (32.76 Crore was the average budget of the movie data set I analyzed.) In simpler terms, on average the gap in movie reviews between TOI and IMDB moved up by 4.6 times, if the budget of the movie being reviewed was higher than the average of the data set, which was Rs. 32.76 Crore.
At the median, the disparity is starker. The median gap in movie reviews between TOI and IMDB moved up by a mindboggling 6.5 times, if the budget of the movie being reviewed was higher than the average of the data set, which was Rs. 32.76 Crore.
So there you have it… We have a hypothesis that stands the test of the monetary challenge thrown at it. Higher the budget, higher the gap in movie review ratings between TOI and IMDB, which should only mean one thing – a part of the higher budget is being allocated to reviewers like TOI.
– Vaibhav Anand
Vaibhav Anand is a 2008 passout from Delhi College of Engineering and a 2010 MBA passout from FMS, Delhi. He is currently working for a Multinational Bank in Delhi. Vaibhav is also the author of the bestselling “If God Went To B-School”. You can reach out to him through Twitter at his handle @vaibrainmaker.