The Movie Database Support

Not sure if API, Content, or website...

Just curious about the PRIMARY designation on some movies for poster art, ie. Avatar, Boogie Nights, Contraband. Never noticed it before, but this week I had to rescrape my database for XBMC/KODI and anything with PRIMARY on it, it skips and uses the 2nd poster in the list.

Tried to find info, no luck... just wondered what that PRIMARY was all about? I remember recommending a feature where the site used the highest rated poster that was 2:3 as the main poster, because sometimes the highest rated poster is the wrong dimensions... is this sorta related to that?

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Hi THRobinson,

I commented on your forum post on the Kodi forums this morning.

I don't think Kodi is using the poster_path field to choose the "default" image to download and use for movies. It looks like they're actually just grabbing the highest rated. The poster_path field which is returned by the API mimics and returns the same info as the website so if they want to be consistent with what we're showing on the website, they will have to update their scraper.

This is exactly why the the primary option was introduced, the highest rated is not always best and where applicable we can override the highest rated.

Hope that helps.

Sure does... well, not so much the tech stuff but, rest made sense. :D

And makes sense... some of the artwork has been there so long, it's almost impossible to vote it down enough to knock it out of the #1 spot.

Hopefully KODI can fix things on their end, though likely be months from now in the newer version.


Yup, exactly. Another reason is that we have run into times where image ratings are being gamed. There's a group of users who have been trying to get the "theatrical" posters voted to the top. It's been a big waste of my time to fight this rating spam so instead I just opted to support and primary and be done with it. We won't set a primary for everything, it's perfectly fine to keep ratings as the default, we're only using the primary where it's necessary.

Ya, that's annoying... lots of those theatrical posters have COMING SOON in large lettering which I don't want to see when I have the movie on my server... plus all the small type that's totally lost in the image anyways.

Would it make sense to also have a primary field added to the images request:

  "file_path": "/2lECpi35Hnbpa4y46JX0aY3AWTy.jpg",
  "width": 1000,
  "height": 1500,
  "iso_639_1": "en",
  "aspect_ratio": 0.67,
  "vote_average": 6.1395348837209305,
  "vote_count": 43,
  "primary": true

Hi Damien,

Yes, it probably would. I've created a new ticket for this and will look at it.


Don't like it at all .. !! Just look at Furious 7 .. So many great posters .. and what you choose as primary .. ?!? Of course the ugliest one .. !!!

I like the decision... basically choosing the highest voted poster that is

(1) 2:3 ratio (ie 1000x1500) | (2) Not a movie poster with "coming soon" written across it

Downside, I posted this on the KODI site, and submitted a bug report because doesn't scrap posters marked as primary, then bumped it because was an old post, and was told "There's nothing to fix. You find it wrong, others find it correct"... bit annoying.

Is there any way that you can prioritize adding tagging for poster types? I am one of the apparent weirdos that prefer images that look like the original theatrical posters, and having the ability to tag them as such would give us the option of automatically getting the images that we prefer.

Hi Scottathon,

Haha, weirdo ;)

There is plans for this in the future, I have an open ticket to think about tagging images more broadly.

So I opened a "New Discussion" as proposed by MOD Salvador Dolly above (quote:"In this case, just make a report asking to have a better poster made primary.") over here: and it was immediately closed .. !! how nice ..

Another weirdo who prefer the original theatrical posters without any modification, is there any way for identify and grab them? If not, something like "neutered": false it would be great!, i'm just saying ...

Hi @tyl3r,

The image service will getting an overhaul at some point here... there's a higher priority ticket which is to support regional languages on images and when this overhaul happens, images will get tags. With tags, we will be able to query for different types like neutered, or theatrical, etc... I do not have an ETA, just know that it's planned.

Thanks for the update, Travis! All of the new stuff on the site is great!

Wow, thanks Travis, great news, time to wait patiently for the changes come true :), keep the good work!

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