Make Release Date sorting consistent between the app and site

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Add a 2nd list sorting option for Release Date

Sorting the same custom list returns different results on each platform.  On the site it sorts them by the year of initial release shown in parenthesis next to the title, where the app sorts them by the release date underneath that.  I'm not sure how it currently sorts them on the site when there's multiple titles from the same year, but it would make sense to use the former method since that's the year most closely associated with the film.  It would probably be ideal to use the first entry in the "Release Dates" list for sorting b/c sometimes the official/US release can be delayed several years after the initial premiere or foreign release.

This was mentioned in this idea from 7 years ago.  Shukov noted in his followup comment that some releases can show up in the US decades after they were originally released:
ATS: Allow title sort by original release date

These are examples of where the year in parenthesis differs from the "Release Date" year:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1977755
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083907
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062936

The inconsistency between the two platforms was reported as a bug 3 years ago but never fixed, even though it was marked as "Solved":
Sort by Release Date: Desktop Site Bug
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shape5

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Posted 4 months ago

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bderoes, Champion

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From the help center:
https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/release-dates/GVUUDEPJNAW6G35P?ref_=helpsrall#
Please note that the year in the title is derived from the date of earliest release. This includes any festival release dates. With this in mind you can update the year by either adding a new release date or correcting an existing one. The release date that displays directly under the title is the release date for the title display country as chosen in your content settings
(I don't think that last sentence is 100% correct. There's some rule about using the earliest date without an attribute... at least on the desktop version of the title page. I have trouble finding that documented in Help. It was discussed here on GS a while ago.)

So for your examples:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1977755
Final Recipe (2013)
shows  26 August 2016 (China) on the title's mainpage on desktop, but
Spain 21 September 2013(San Sebastián Film Festival) on the release date page, among others.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083907
The Evil Dead (1981)
15 April 1983 (USA)
USA 15 October 1981(Detroit, Michigan) (premiere)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062936
Enter the Game of Death (1978)
February 1980 (USA)
South Korea 3 November 1978

BTW, in all 3 cases, the earliest release date is also the release date output by the Export function.

As to which date is used for sorting on which platform, I just replicated the problem you're reporting on the Android app. (I would consider that a Problem.  Did you post this as an Idea?) I'll add screenshots below of the different sort views of the same list.

Regarding the post ATS: Allow title sort by original release date, the Advanced Title Search currently does allow sorting by original release date, as well as by Year. I don't really know the difference between them, nor does searching the help center bring enlightenment. But they are different, as seen in this example:
https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?title_type=tv_miniseries&release_date=1970-01-01,1980-12-31&languages=en&view=simple&sort=release_date,asc
Then switch to sort by year, and get a different order. For instance, Sentimental Education is either at 10 or at 15. Possibly "popularity" is the secondary criteria for the Year sort.

Regarding the post Sort by Release Date: Desktop Site Bug, I just sorted my watchlist by release date, and it did just fine; I have several titles from 2019/20, including 2 in several months. So the bug reported earlier looks solved to me. Here it is for 3 titles from 1978: 
Grease earliest 13 June 1978, vs 16 June 1978 on the mainpage
Enter the Game of Death 3 November 1978 vs February 1980
The Deer Hunter 8 December 1978 vs  23 February 1979

Watchlist:


On a custom list, desktop; release dates aren't shown in the detail version, so I chose compact:


Same custom list, but using ATS:


Same custom list, still using ATS, but sorting by Year:


Same again, but sort by Popularity:


On the Android app (yikes! NB: this sorts 'em the way they look, according to the date used on the desktop mainpage.):


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shape5

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I was clear on the differences between the two years that you quoted from the FAQ, and I wasn't proposing to change anything on the actual title pages – just in the sorting of custom lists.  I think the last sentence is actually correct though.  I tested this out by switching from US to UK and now it shows UK instead of US for release date underneath the title year in parenthesis at the top.

Well, I agree it's a problem.  I considered posting it as a bug, but since I'm proposing to have the sorting behavior changed I felt it was more appropriate to post it as an idea, also since it was already submitted as a bug.

I didn't check the ATS for this functionality, but just wanted to reference his comment on why sorting by this date makes more sense for lists.  I see what you mean on the sorting differences between original release date and year.  I noticed this before when sorting my ratings by year and I'm not sure what the criteria difference is either.

The Sort by Release Date: Desktop Site Bug is still happening on my end, but this isn't referring to ATS.  ATS is not mentioned anywhere on that idea page.  "Context: Right now if I sort my watchlist by release date on the desktop site vs mobile, there are 2 different functionalities."  This is the same issue I described in my first post:  the inconsistency between the 2 platforms using the same "Release Year" sort criteria.  Above, you said "I just replicated the problem you're reporting on the Android app."  This is that same problem.

Thanks

(Edited)
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bderoes, Champion

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Regarding  Sort by Release Date: Desktop Site Bug:
In that problem report, he states:
Mobile Use Case (Correct Functionality) [strikethrough mine]
Action: View watchlist. Sort by release date.
Result: Movies are sorted by release date, down to the day.
Desktop Site (Bug)
Action: View watchlist. Sort by release date.
Expected Result: Movies are sorted by release date, down to the day.
Actual Result: Sorts by release date, but movies that are released in the same year are shuffled within that year.
I've provided screenshots above that refute those statements. Yes, the Android app sorts by the VISIBLE release date. (The screenshot is actually of a custom list; I just re-added those 3 titles to my Watchlist and confirmed they sort in that same order in Watchlist.) But I think we both agree that is NOT what we consider correct; that we want the earliest release date used for sorting in all cases.
No, the desktop sort of Watchlist by release date does not "shuffle" within year. At least not with these 3 films from 1978, as shown by my Watchlist screenshot above.

Invoking ANY posts from the past is dicey. IMDb did a major overhaul of list functionality in Nov/Dec 2017, so comparing what happens now with any post before that is almost irrelevant.
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shape5

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I'm happy to say that you were correct about the website bug.  Oddly enough, it turned out to be a problem on my end from an outdated version of Chrome (which I can't update as it's the latest compatible version for my OS).  I tried it on another computer and the Release Date sorting is actually working fine.  However, I was able to fix it on my Chrome browser by disabling all extensions, which must have reset something as it's not happening anymore when they're enabled.  There is one other sort menu that still isn't working (on my end only), but the Release Date filter is sorting as expected.  This may have been why it also wasn't working for Matt Suda, the last user to post a reply to the "Desktop Site Bug" problem, even after it was marked as solved.  

Sorry for the false flag on this one and thanks again for your help.  IMDb email support offered to merge this thread into a new simplified Idea which I created below for the implementation of both "Original Release Date" and "Regional Release Date" (specified by content settings: country/region) on both platforms.  This way no one has to waste their time reading thru this.

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/add-a-2nd-list-sorting-option-for-release-date
(Edited)

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