Release Dates

Primary Release Date

The primary release date used on TMDb is automatically calculated by looking for the first release that meets the following criteria in this order:

  1. A "limited" or "theatrical" release
  2. A "premiere" release
  3. Any other release (digital or physical)


The language field should be left blank by default.

It should only be used when necessary e.g. when the original version and the Tamil dub of an Indian movie have two different release dates.



When only the year is known, the release date should be added as YEAR-01-01 (e.g. 1975-01-01).

For upcoming releases with an unknown release date, a temporary release date can be set until the official release date is known.

Live performances (e.g. live concerts, stand-up shows): the date of the DVD/theater/digital/TV release should be used, not the date of the actual event.


Certifications are not retroactive. For releases that have no certification (e.g. a festival premiere), the field should be left blank.

Exceptions: In Canada, provinces/territories have their own classification and Quebec has a different classification system (e.g. the theater release of The Great Wall). Unfortunately, provincial ratings are not supported.

When an TV movie only has a TV certification (e.g. TV-14) and no MPAA certification, the certification field is either left blank or the MPAA equivalent can be used (e.g. PG-13).

Even if that is not quite correct, the NC-17 rating can be used for adult entries.



  • A premiere is the first public screening of a film in a country.
  • It can take the form of a festival screening (e.g. TIFF) or a premiere event filled with the cast and crew in a big city (e.g. LA, London, Toronto).
  • Tip: Premiere festival screenings are often marked as world/international/[continent]/[country] premiere on the festival's website.
  • Only official release dates. No test screenings, press screenings, private screenings, preview screenings, sneak peek (partial) screenings, advance screenings or special advance screenings.
  • Only a few countries have official premieres. Some movies do not have a premiere screening.
  • When a movie is screened at multiple festival in the same country, the subsequent festival screenings can also be added as premieres (even though they are not technically "premiere" screenings).

Theatrical / Theatrical (limited)

  • Can be used for the original release and any subsequent official releases.
  • If an old movie is remastered and re-released in theater or has a special anniversary release, it can be added. But if a family movie is screened as a Saturday morning movie or a Christmas movie is screened every year, it probably doesn't count.

Physical / Digital

  • All and any relevant releases can be added.


The note should be in English and use appropriate capitalization.

It can be used to add relevant info relating to the release:

  • A festival e.g. Toronto International Film Festival
  • A city (for premieres and limited releases)
  • The physical release format (VHS, DVD and/or Blu-ray)
  • A special edition e.g. Blu-ray - Collector's Edition
  • A TV channel e.g. Hallmark Channel
  • The feature film a short film screened in theater was paired with
  • The streaming network if it's a digital only release e.g. Netflix