This July, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, and Leslie Jones will hit the big screen in the all-female Ghostbusters remake. But IMDb — the universal resource for movie and TV credits — doesn't list Jones as part of the main cast.
When you visit the IMDb page for a film, you'll see all the major information: premiere date, videos and photos, and cast list. Because there are so many details surrounding a production, the initial page is a truncated version of the entire list of credited cast and crew. The cast is shortened to about 15 names, and you won't see things like deep-cut trivia.
The Ghostbusters page on IMDb doesn't list Jones as one of the 15 main cast members. Visitors to the site must click on "See full cast," then scroll down where she is listed in the 17th slot — after "Security Guard" and "Benny / Chinese Delivery Man," and just above such credits such as "Black Tie Patron at Restaurant" and "Woman." As one of four main characters, why doesn't Jones get top billing?
According to IMDb, the Ghostbusters cast is listed in order of each actor's IMDb STARmeter, a custom system used to "provide industry professionals with insights into the popularity of film and television productions as well as the people and companies that make them." These rankings are based on "the actual behavior of millions of IMDb users" and are calculated using "proprietary algorithms." They're updated on a weekly basis. Sony Pictures has nothing to do with the way IMDb lists its credits.
In other words, Jones isn't listed as a main cast member because people are looking at her IMDb page less often than, say, Joel Murray's.
This looks like a deeply flawed system, one that robs Jones of the marquee billing she's earned. In fact, IMDb's ranking misinforms its audience. If its Ghostbusters page is to be believed, the "stars" of the film are Chris Hemsworth, Melissa McCarthy, and Bill Murray. On the official Ghostbusters movie site, Jones is listed appropriately with the other stars, so what's the deal, IMDb?
IMDb did not immediately return our request for comment.
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