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What's Really Going On With All These Bad Movie Surveys

Despite claiming to provide some interesting alternative points of view and insight, bad movie surveys are a blight on the modern film industry. Although the wealth of data available to the public makes comparisons across the industry easier than ever, more often than not these studies can create bizarre anomalies and questionable conclusions about classic movies. As a result, definitive claims about public opinion are, more often than not, less than useless – with surprisingly serious consequences.

The rise of review aggregators such Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb has made it infinitely more straightforward for anyone to gather intel about the world's favorite movies. At the click of a button, it's easy to see how audiences respond about the biggest releases of the week and how these feelings compare to previous tentpoles. In addition, the modern world provides access to a bewildering array of data and information on all aspects of everyday life. The result is a range of bogus and seemingly harmless studies contrasting everything from people's feelings about politics or their favorite food to the latest MCU release. Superficially, this analysis can appear mildly amusing and even enlightening. However, below the surface, the prevalence of these dodgy surveys actually reveals something depressing about our attitude to the most successful modern movies.

Related: Why Army Of Thieves' Reviews Are So Mixed

The problem is that outrageous claims unearthed by many of these surveys can have a profoundly unhelpful impact on public discourse. Instead of engaging with or discussing the particular merits or problems with a movie, eye-catching surveys reduce the conversation to superfluous or irrelevant statistical details, taking up all the oxygen from any artistic or intellectual merit a movie might have. Although the studies themselves serve a purpose to anyone who commissions them, the extent to which they improve the wider public's movie-going experience is extremely debatable at best. Therefore, although they seem harmless and only mildly annoying, a glut of bad movie surveys is actually more indicative of a wider problem with modern pop-culture analysis.

A great example is the recent furor around the new Bond movie, No Time To Die. In light of Daniel Craig's imminent retirement, the internet has been awash with analysis around the end of his era and where he sits in the pantheon of previous Bond actors. As a result, multiple surveys have been published, often with bizarre and highly questionable conclusions. For instance, different polls have variously claimed that Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan are all people's favorite Bond – a situation which clear doesn't make sense. Furthermore, the different methodologies used to obtain these results make any genuine discussion almost meaningless as there is almost always evidence to support an argument – no matter how bizarre. As a result, any attempt to try and have a sensible discussion about ranking the best James Bond is inadvertently rendered completely pointless.

Part of what makes the plethora of bad movie surveys so reductive is the motivations behind their publication. While certain random data points can occasionally enlighten, more often than not the analysis is a cynical attempt to capitalize on a particular film's popularity, piggy-backing on the conversation with no regard for adding anything of value. One iconic example is a notorious survey that claimed audiences were thinking about 2016's Deadpool more than sex, based on the number of Google searches each subject was generating. It's certainly true that the habits of cinema-goers can and should inform how a movie or performance is interpreted. However, when society's collective understanding of an interpretation of a film is reduced down to extraneous analysis that has little to do with the movie's actual substance,

More: Timothy Dalton Revealed As Most Popular James Bond In New Study

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