Internet trolls and alt-right hate groups have made clear their plans to make Black Panther look like a failure, and those efforts have started over on IMDb.
When you head to the Black Panther page on the Internet Movie Database, you'll see that the current rating for the film is a mere 6.7 out of 10, despite glowing reviews from critics. This score is purely based on a fan vote.
You can't blame a below-average score solely on fan hatred and internet sabotage – that is, until you look at how the votes break down.
Users can rate a movie on a scale of 1-10, and it's extremely common for every single number on that scale to have at least some votes, regardless of the film in question. So, no matter how good Black Panther may be, getting some negative reviews isn't out of the ordinary. However, as you can see below, the film's user scores take on an unusual pattern.
4,966 people gave Black Panther a 10/10 rating. From there, everything seemed to even out, with the ratings scores from nine to two receiving anywhere from 66 to 270 votes. This is where things get skewed. 1,820 people, 23.1 percent of voters, gave the film a 1 out of 10, the lowest score possible. That kind of massive disdain for the movie doesn't add up with the trend being followed with the rest of the votes.
Even if you want to assume these numbers are accurate reactions, the math doesn't stand up. Black Panther hasn't even been released in theaters. The first public screenings for the film don't take place until February 12 in Europe. There's no chance that 8,000 people have already seen and rated Black Panther.
Yes, that means that the 10 rating is skewed as well, but it makes sense when you factor in the excitement leading up to the film. Not only does Marvel have a passionate fanbase following this franchise, but Black Panther is a landmark movie for people of color around the world. This will be the first time that a black superhero has starred in a Marvel or DC film. The movie takes place in an advanced nation hidden in the middle of Africa. Black Panther's cast is filled with people of color and it's director is an African-American.
It's easy to see why users would get on IMDb and rate the movie a 10 without even having the chance to see it. The film means that much to that many people. Sadly, it also makes it obvious why there are some out there looking to destroy it.
Based on this vote though, the good guys are still winning, and it isn't even close.
Black Panther will hit theaters in the U.S. on February 16.