I'm simply wondering why IMDb is the go-to aggregate review site for movies and why it's seen as superior to the likes of Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic by the film industry. Is there something IMDb has that those other sites lack?
Well personally I feel that IMDB ratings are usually more accurate than the ones from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The other two are dominated by "elite" and "professional" critics who are delusionally cynical and judge things based on.... the most absurd things imaginable that actual real people never care about. Far too often they have groupthink. Hating a movie because a certain actor, director, or producer is involved, or in the case of sequels, when one who was involved before no longer is. Regardless of how good or bad the work actually is. IMDB seems more in line with what actual people think. Of course sometimes people are stupid and like things for the wrong reasons, but as a group the differing opinons tend to balance each other out more on IMDB so the extremely crazy ones, that dominate Rotten and Meta, can't overwhelm the rating.
But this is just my own personal opinion and I'm certain other people have other reasons.
IMDB is esteemed because it's invaluable as a resource for crew members and actors. There is more information there about the production specifics of films than you'll find anywhere else. You can find out what cameras they used, who operated them, what else those camera operators have worked on, and how to contact them. It's indispensable.
As for review scores, you'll find that the industry as a business arm doesn't really care about them so much; they care far more about box office receipt and marketability. Franchise power, brand parity, etc. A lot of people in the industry are renowned for their ability to bolster films that get mediocre reviews - Harvey Weinstein, for example, is known for getting films like The Imitation Game nominated for awards despite moderate critical reception. It's not like the gaming industry where review scores are held in such high esteem (and I'd wager that's because a movie ticket is a much smaller investment so people are less picky about what they see and don't research movies too heavily before hand).
Individuals might care about review scores, but when you get to that level then there isn't much of a consensus on "best review aggregate" site - everybody's got their favorite and that's that.
Also, it's sort of silly to slag critics for expressing their opinions. There's no objective quality of a film, only subjective valuations based on personal emotional reactions, and that's what critics seek to convey: their reaction and why they had it. Sure, there are some critics out there with some toxic attitudes, but criticism as a popular industry is about finding critics whose sensibilities match yours, using their judgments to determine what you want to see, and making your own opinion independently. The divide is because film critics, by nature of seeing hundreds of films a year, have seen more films and have a far broader cinematic repertoire to draw from in their criticism. Normal moviegoers don't see anywhere near even fifty movies a year; naturally their opinions are going to differ strongly on average. It's just baffling me to expect critics to do anything but express their opinion, which is going to be drastically different because of the inherent gap in film literacy between critics and average consumers. On top of that there's the fact that film criticism is actually an academic field and not just a recommendation, but that's a larger argument about the value of criticism that isn't worth getting into.
I can't say I look too much at reviews myself, and I'm not sure if you mean industry or general population with your question.
But regardless it could be because IMDB already is the go-to look-up tool for anything within movies/shows/actors, etc. It has a lot of users, thereby the opinions of the people shine through more? Also, we're pretty lazy as a species, if we can go to just one place for different types of information pertaining to the same thing, we're more likely to do that than use different sites for it.
Metacritic is a laughable site that compiles reviews from jokers. Rotten T has been, in my opinion, more accurate as to my own tastes regarding movies, but I can't say that it is the right site for everyone. IMBd however, you can refer to Garo's post for that.
Can someone provide examples of IMDB being "esteemed" by the industry? I wasn't aware of that.
In any case, IMDB looks like a site's worth of bandwagoning to me. I don't always agree with professional critics, but their reviews generally seem more level-headed, and the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate scores tend to closely represent my own views (even moreso than Metacritic scores, interestingly enough). Thus, I find that site useful, whereas IMDB just comes off as representing the collective opinion of a group of amateur internet critics willing to voice their opinion as loudly as possible.
Dunno, I've just never found IMDB to be that useful of a resource for understanding either a film's cultural importance or how that film would appeal to me personally.
I will say I like many of the films in IMDB's top 250, though I question how, say, The Dark Knight ranks higher than Dr. Strangelove and To Kill a Mockingbird. Seems like a surefire way to a high ranking is to be a well-made action movie. I love those kinds of movies (no joke--Dredd might be my favorite movie of the past half-decade), but for them to make up something like 50% of the top 20 movies is questionable.