IMDB Database Exploratory Analysis

Poonam Rao
Geek Culture
Published in
6 min readApr 23, 2021


Analysis of Internet Movie Database (source: Kaggle) for an imaginary strategic objective for expanding the Disney+ Platform.

About Disney+

Disney+ (pronounced Disney Plus) is an on-demand streaming service, a division of The Walt Disney Company. They distribute movies and TV series produced in-house in addition to the Fox catalog of both new and classic movies and shows.

Target audience & why it is apt for this presentation

The primary audience is Disney+ executives who are key decision-makers of Disney+ strategy and execution. The executives are looking for analysis of the IMDB database as inputs to their upcoming strategy planning exercise. As background, the strategy so far was to focus on the family movie genre and the expanded strategy involves including all genres on their platform. The audience is adept at crunching numbers and consuming visual infographics. The stakeholders live and breathe the entertainment vertical segment and are very comfortable with business metrics and the terminologies inclusive of the IMDB metrics. While the audience is aware of the IMDB database, the analysis is new for them.

Purpose of the presentation

The purpose of the presentation is to inform the audience of insights gathered from the analysis of the movie database and IMDB ratings. This presentation will share key insights on what has worked in the past by analyzing movie metrics. This analysis is a precursor to Disney+ platform expansion plans to include and create attractive movies for its members based on past trends. Key analytic details that should be answered as a result of the analysis project include the following:

  • What are the top 3 genres based on IMDB ratings?
  • What is the top runtime in minutes based on IMDB ratings?
  • Who are the top 4 actors with the highest IMDB ratings?
  • Which are the top 3 movies with the highest gross?

8 seconds! 8 seconds is the attention span of humans! Surprisingly, that is less than that of a goldfish which stands at 11 seconds! It is in these first 8 seconds of viewing any trailer or content, that viewers decide if they want to watch it or not. In this competitive era, while we vie for wallet share and viewer’s attention, sustaining it is even harder.

Today Disney+ primarily streams family movies from our in-house production and Fox productions. Looking ahead, as we plan to accelerate growth, increase revenue, and battle growing competition, our strategy is to expand offerings. We want to appeal to a wider segment. Providing an attractive online catalog is key to our platform growth. To support this strategy, we want to make data-backed decisions and base our tactics on research.

Moving on, a lot of resources go into making movies. We want to create what our viewers would love to watch. We also want to select original titles from other production companies that our viewers find attractive. Movie licenses are expensive, and we want to be selective in our choices. We are trying to determine which titles to stream and which movies to produce in the future. This comprehensive approach in our platform offering will provide a cushion against the attrition of our customer base. It will also help us retain existing members and attract new viewers who are looking for entertainment options.

On the next slide, is the scope of this analytics project. The goal is to gather insights to better inform our future decisions for Disney+. We want to find what genres are most popular, identify what top runtimes are, who are the top actors with the highest IMDB ratings, and identify which movies have the highest gross earnings.

On slide 5, we see popularity by genre. Some movies in the IMDB database were categorized under multiple categories. We used the primary category for this analysis. Drama movies were seen to be the most popular in America. Additionally, movies within the crime, action, adventure and comedy had the highest ratings and generated the most box office revenue. As of April 2021, none of the three most successful movies of all time were comedies.

On the next slide, we see analysis by the runtime. Movies were categorized into 20–30-minute segments. Top runtime is seen as 100 to 130 minutes based on the frequency of the highest IMDB ratings.

On slide 7, we analyze the top 4 actors with the highest IMDB ratings. Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, and Brad Pitt were the top rankers. Actors like Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Matt Damon are close in rankings. A combination of these artists has been the viewer’s favorite over the years.

On slide 8, we see the top 3 movies in two categories — those with the highest gross earning and those with the highest ratings. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” produced by Lucas Films with $940 million gross takes the first rank. “Avengers — Endgame”, a Disney production with $860 million gross came in second. Avatar takes the third spot with $760 million gross and produced by 20th Century Fox. In comparison to top movies based on IMDB ratings, “Shawshank Redemption” has the highest rating of 9.3, followed by “The Godfather” of 9.2 rating and “12 Angry Men” with a rating of 9. The top genre here is crime and drama. It is interesting to note that the movies with the highest gross do not necessarily have the highest IMDB rating. Though Avatar is ranked 3rd by gross earnings in the US, it takes the 1st spot for all-time highest worldwide box office.

To summarize on slide 9, based on my analysis, movies with drama, action, and crime genres are the most popular. In addition, movies with a runtime between 100 to 130 minutes are the most attractive to viewers. We analyzed top actors as well.

In conclusion, the top actors were different for movies with the highest gross when compared to those which were highly rated. The highest gross for movies prior to 1990 is not a good indicator of popularity as those movies premiered in a non-social-media and video-on-demand era. Consumer spending and the value of the currency have changed in recent times. Viewer interests continue to evolve so we will need to continue refining our algorithms and update our research methods.

To fine-tune our strategy, further research will need to be done to determine which movies to stream, which ones to create, and which studios to partner with. If we are strategizing for international growth, then we will need to analyze viewer's interests in different emerging markets as well. Backed with research, we can make Disney+ the ultimate streaming destination for entertainment.



Poonam Rao
Geek Culture

Exec Director StratEx - I bring to the table blend of data science, finance and strategy management skills with 20+ years of experience in insurance & fintech.