About Movie Review Intelligence

1. Brief Background

MovieReviewIntelligence.com launched in June 2009. The goal is to provide the most accurate and complete picture of movie reviews possible.

The purpose is to give everyone -- moviegoers, filmmakers, marketers, critics and publishers -- a clear and unbiased approach for measuring and understanding reviews.

MovieReviewIntelligence.com is dedicated to showing exactly what the critics are saying. The site makes every effort to cover all movies -- big, small, mainstream, indie, foreign and documentary. The critics included are selected because they represent the body of film criticism that moviegoers see and read everyday.

Movie Review Intelligence respects all points of view

The founder, editor and publisher of MovieReviewIntelligence.com is David A. Gross, a former movie marketing executive, consultant, and researcher. "This is the best site to rely on as a moviegoer," Gross says. "It is the site I would have liked to have had as a movie industry professional -- objective."

MovieReviewIntelligence.com is an independent web publication. The site is not affiliated with a movie studio or other entertainment company.

Based on ten years of research, what sets MovieReviewIntelligence.com apart from other movie review web sites is its thoroughness, accuracy and faithfulness to the critics.

2. The Publications Covered

MovieReviewIntelligence.com analyzes movie reviews from more than 70 U.S. and Toronto newspapers, magazines, alternative weeklies, web sites and NPR. These are the reviews that the public sees and reads every day; this is what counts in the real world.

All types of critic are included

Several publications covered represent multiple publications because their reviews are printed in many different newspapers and alternative weeklies across the country. This includes the Associated Press; Voice Media (Village Voice, LA Weekly, etc.); Tribune newspapers (Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.); the New York Times; and others. With all publications counted, the total number covered by this website is far greater than 70. This is taken into account in the statistical model built to analyze the reviews.

The publications covered, in total, represent the key national media, as well as the top 25 local markets in the U.S. plus Toronto. The top 25 markets represent approximately 50% of the U.S. population and 60% of U.S. moviegoers. Altogether, the publications and program reach an audience of well over 150 million.

The publications are organized into seven categories that align with moviegoers’ tastes and parallel how movies are released, as follows:

Broad National Press
Local Newspapers
Highbrow Press
Movie Industry
New York/Los Angeles/Chicago/Toronto
Key Cities


The reviews presented on this site are weighted according to their readership levels as measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The logic is: Reviews in larger publications are seen and read by more people than reviews in smaller publications. They have a bigger voice. Not a better voice, but a bigger voice. The readership levels published by the Audit Bureau of Circulation are the industry standard. Other sites weight reviews according to their personal taste, i.e., what they think is better or more prestigious or more important. This injects another layer of subjectivity into the equation. Better to cover all kinds of reviews and let the readers determine which reviews get heavier weighting according to what they read. That is what counts -- what the public chooses to read. That is how MovieReviewIntelligence.com approaches it. Objectively.

In addition to the overall weighting that each publication receives according to the size of its readership/audience, there are two categories that receive special weighting:

1) NY/LA/Chicago/Toronto: In this subgroup, each city's publications are weighted within each city, and then the cities are weighted according to their size, so that New York’s preponderance of newspapers does not distort the overall mix.

2) Movie Industry Press: In this subgroup, each of the six publications is given equal weight so that Daily Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and Cinema 24/7 are on equal footing with the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The goal is to create the most accurate picture of movie reviews possible. The keys to doing this are:

1) covering more than 70 of the most representative publications, programs and web sites;
2) organizing the reviews in proportion to their readership/audience;
3) covering the top 25 local markets;
4) covering the alternative/indie weeklies in the top markets;
5) analyzing the key different types of publications and reviews.

What makes this site unique is that it looks at the full range of reviews according to how moviegoers see and hear them. Using this analytic approach we can say with some confidence, "These are a movie's reviews in the real moviegoing market."

3. Covering Movie Reviews Online

Covering movie reviews online is central to this web site. 12 of the publications covered here are leading online-only movie web sites (RogerEbert.com, Movies.MSN.com, AVClub.com, Slate.com, Salon.com, Cinemablend.com, PopMatters.com, Slant.com, ReelViews.net, CommonSenseMedia.org, FlickFilosopher.com and Cinema24/7.com). All of the print publications and critics included here are industry-leaders online as well as in print. The newspapers alone attract over 200 million unique visitors per month to their sites and are included in the list of top web sites of any kind. Online traffic is taken into consideration in the weighting model used to analyze these figures.

4. The Review Ratings

In 76% of the publications covered, the reviews are graded by the critics themselves, using A through F scales (with +s and -s); star rating scales (4 and 5 stars with half stars); and a 10-point scale. Critics at one of the publications, the San Francisco Chronicle, use a 5-point scale that features an icon of a little man in his theater seat expressing his opinion: standing clapping, seated clapping, seated not clapping, seated sleeping, and an empty chair. We track that too.

Reviews in 24% of the publications do not come with a grade. Here, MovieReviewIntelligence.com analyzes each review and assigns a letter grade with +s and -s. Grading these reviews is the most important thing we do. Two analysts grade each review and analysts are asked to refrain from seeing a movie in advance of grading its reviews. The goal is to be as objective as possible. It is about the critic's opinion, not ours.

To generate the "Positive Reviews" ratings, the grades and ratings are translated proportionately to a 100-point percentage scale and then weighted according to the approach discussed above.

The average "Positive Reviews" rating is currently 51.7%.

5. Review Mixture

The review mixture shown in these tables is the degree of variance among a movie’s reviews and is shown as a number that represents the average percentage point difference between each of a movie's reviews.

The average "Review Mixture" is currently 18.4 percentage point difference.

6. Coverage, Volume, and Length

The coverage figures shown in these tables indicate the percentage of total readership where a review is present. In other words, if reviews for a specific movie appeared in every publication, that would represent 100% coverage. Currently, the average "Coverage" figure is 67.9%.

The volume figures shown in these tables are the total amount of words in all of a film's reviews. Currently, the average "Volume" figure is 20,072 words.

The length figures shown in these tables are the average length of each film's individual reviews. Currently, the average "Length" figure is 515 words.

7. Review Timing

The review timing shown in these tables is the average of when a movie's reviews are published, or in the case of NPR, first broadcast. Currently, the average "Review Timing" is 1.5 hours before opening.

8. Real-Time, Dynamic Information 24/7/365

MovieReviewIntelligence.com collects reviews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Averages are updated on an ongoing basis. For certain movies, figures may change as reviews are published over time, particularly in the case of a movie that is released gradually geographically.

We do our best to post new information immediately. We cover a vast number of reviews and it is possible that, in spite of our best efforts, we will miss something or make a mistake. In these instances, we appreciate your feedback.

9. Research on Movie Reviews

Proprietary research conducted for MovieReviewIntelligence.com by MarketCast, a Los Angeles-based market research company that specializes in movies, shows that 81% of moviegoers follow reviews. This represents 71,485,980 moviegoers who follow reviews.

10. The Founder, Editor & Publisher, David A. Gross

The founder, editor and publisher of MovieReviewIntelligence.com is David A. Gross.

Mr. Gross has 25 years of movie marketing experience, both domestic and international, as an executive, consultant and researcher, based in Los Angeles, London and New York. Mr. Gross has held executive marketing positions at 20th Century Fox, the National Research Group (NRG), the Walt Disney Studios, MGM/UA and HBO.

As vice-president of international marketing at 20th Century Fox, Mr. Gross founded, built and supervised the studio’s state-of-the-art international marketing department. During that time, the studio went from last place to its first international box-office crown in modern history.

Prior to 20th Century Fox, Mr. Gross was managing director of the London office of Joe Farrell and Catherine Paura's National Research Group, the leading market research-based adviser to the American studios on movie marketing and distribution strategies throughout the world.

Mr. Gross became interested in movie reviews at Fox. After a movie opened in several overseas markets, the head of publicity would bring a 3” to 4” stack of clippings and say, “Here are the reviews.” Because Mr. Gross spent the early part of his career in movie research, it was natural for him to think, “Is there a way to summarize this information meaningfully, quantitatively and succinctly?” After leaving Fox, Mr. Gross started doing research on the topic. He worked on it for a couple of months, then put it down, pick it up and worked on it for a couple of months, then put it down. During these years he developed the publication model, the statistical weighting schemes, and the computer algorithms on which this web site is based. In the meantime, the tools for gathering the information – data collection – improved as the internet matured. In early 2008, Mr. Gross decided there were enough resources to turn the research into a Web site, which is MovieReviewIntelligence.com. With input from film marketing executives, market researchers, computer programmers, writers/editors and lots and lots of moviegoers, the site launched in June 2009.

Mr. Gross is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and has an undergraduate degree in Classics from Brown University.

11. The Software Engineer, James A. Knauer

The software engineer of MovieReviewIntelligence.com is James A. Knauer.

Mr. Knauer has been a software developer since 1983. Mr. Knauer started out managing large-scale multi-protocol data network installations for Michigan state governmental agencies, including the Michigan House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Courts, the Office of the Attorney General, and several school districts.

In 1996, Mr. Knauer founded Myne Corporation, a cooperative of colleagues using the Internet to explore and develop solutions for web hosting, design and development, database administration, data network design and management, accounting, bookkeeping, merchant services, and computer hardware diagnosis and repair.

Mr. Knauer’s work has spanned countless fields and different types of business. MovieReviewIntelligence.com is a database driven application with front-end client usability, which is Mr. Knauer’s specialty.

Mr. Knauer has a Computer Science degree from Michigan Technological University and is a Certified Network Engineer. For additional information about Mr. Knauer's skills and experience, visit jk.tmoa.org.

12. The Associate Editor, Josephine Scanlon

The associate editor of MovieReviewIntelligence.com is Josephine Scanlon.

Ms. Scanlon has more than 15 years experience as a writer and editor. As a partner in Duet Write LLC, she has edited published works in fiction and non-fiction, including memoirs, self-help books, blogs and articles, and a historical novel. Ms. Scanlon has a BA in English from Iona College and an MA in English from Fordham University. She lives in Dutchess County, New York.

Editorial Assistant: Angel A. Angel
Social Media Manager: Anthony Baltierra
App Creation: Matt Bearson
Graphic Design: Lee Bearson

13. Contact: editor@MovieReviewIntelligence.com