Friday, November 25, 2011
Breaking Dawn by the Numbers by EM Lynley
Fast forward to Stephanie Meyer and the Twilight series. This time around, nearly every single writer I knew had nothing but scorn and contempt for the books. I glanced at page 1 of the first book and put it down immediately. I'm not a fan of first-person and this one had every single thing that writing instructors, editors and agents tell you not to do.... so I gleefully ignored the entire phenomenon, choosing instead to stare at the trainwreck of Twihards and their ridiculous behavior.
Then the films began. Robert Pattinson became the David Cassidy of his generation. At a local event here in San Francisco, girls mobbed a mall and someone fainted or got crushed, a la The Who. The event got canceled, but the true effect of the phenomenon was clear.
Of course I didn't read or listen to any of the books, and staunchly refused to pay money to see any of the films. So, it was just a week ago when I happened upon Twilight on TV that I actually invested a couple of hours of my life to see what all the fuss was about. What's a better word than underwhelmed? Not disappointed because I had negative expectations, which were more than fulfilled. But even taking the ridiculous aspect of the story out of the equation (and yes, I am getting to the numbers, I promise!), I couldn't see why anyone was so gaga over RPatz. I was hoping for more sparkle though. Just the one scene and I had to watch for like an hour just to get to that? Now that was a disappointment.
A few days ago Breaking Dawn (Part 1) opened. Already it's breaking records and some Twihards have seen it multiple times. I checked out the numbers on IMDB which is my first go-to website for film ratings, because you can look at the real stats behind a movie's user ratings. At the top level, the film currently has a rating of 4.6/10. A failing score by almost every grading system, unless it's on the curve, in which case it's doing well compared to the other films in the franchise.
When you take a closer look, nearly half of the users gave it a 10. So, to get an average of 4.6 that means everyone else hated it. A quarter of users rated it 1. And the scores of 2-9 were fairly evenly distributed with more users rating it higher than lower. So, this is a love-hate film. It's also pretty evenly demarcated along gender lines. Female voters gave it about 7.5 on average, while male voters 3.4. And the trend was not distinguished by age group. Unexpectedly, the highest rating came from females aged 30-44, who I expected to be the most cynical females.
See the ratings here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1324999/ratings
The largest age group to vote was 18-29, and even those females gave the film a lower rating (7.1) than their older female counterparts. Men of all ages panned the film, but I still question whether more men aged 18-29 actually saw the film than females of that age group. Clearly, this is where the non-viewer voters are located. They vote just to drag down the scores. But the fact that every age segment had nearly the same score was very interesting. I guess some people actually enjoyed the film. And those who did enjoy it, loved it to death. Literally.
Which still surprises me since fandom aside, even the Twihards were saying it's boring..... so why did they give it such high ratings? Maybe they didn't want to diss their film by giving it less than 10. Or they were just so glad it was over? Whatever the reason, it's certainly fascinating to speculate about human behavior and thought processes simply by observing some statistics. On the other hand, as a trained economist, that's precisely what we do all the time. It's just much more fun to apply those methods to the Twihards than to consumers.
What do you think causes so many people (24%) to hate the film so much they just automatically give it 1 star? I know I won't go see a file I know I'll hate, but I won't go and rate it either. The low rating isn't keeping the Twihards away, so what's the point?
RARER THAN RUBIES from Dreamspinner Press. Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone, set in Thailand. Find out more, read excerpts and free reads at her website or friend her on Facebook.