Help Center

Release dates

Updated 4-November-2021


This article explains how to submit release date updates, along with the guidelines for adding release dates for festival releases, limited releases, and more.

Contents


 Guidelines


  • The release date section records when a title was released to the public in a particular country. This means you'll need to select a country from the menu and then specify the release date via the day, month and year fields.

  • Occasionally, a release date may include only a year, with no month, day, or attribute. This should be done when the production is expected to receive a wide release in a particular year, but the day and month are still undetermined.

  • The year shown at the top of the title is a direct reflection of the title's initial release date - 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:

 

Title year example
(Example title year display for 1917)
  • Finally, release countries and dates should match and refer to the correct historical location name in use at the time.

    For example, when adding a release date in 1980 for Germany, the correct geopolitical location for that date must be selected ("West Germany" or "East Germany"), since at the time the country currently known as "Germany" was divided in two.

 

Exceptions for adding a release date

  • On occasion titles are shown to non-public focus groups to assess audience reaction before making final edits. As such, these should not be considered as release dates.

  • Market screenings that are by private invitation only are not considered public releases, therefore should not be considered as release dates.




 Attributes

Contains - festivals | city specific | streaming | premieres | re-releases | non-theatrical | limited

The attribute section allows the inclusion of supplementary information about that particular release date. More information about specific attributes are listed below - A list of the attributes currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon (  ) next to the attribute field.


Festival attributes

If a release date applies to a specific film festival, then please record the festival name in the attributes field.

Please use the most general English name of the festival, and do not include the year or number of the festival within the attribute.

Example festival attributes are:

(Toronto International Film Festival) 
(Berlin International Film Festival)
(Cannes Film Festival)
(Sundance Film Festival)
(New York International Independent Film and Video Festival)
(Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival)


City specific attributes

If a release was not at a film festival but was local to a specific city, then please record the city in the attributes field. The convention for US cities is to record the city and state to avoid confusion between cities with the same name in different states. The convention for other countries is just the city name.

Please note that we do not record release locations down to the specific cinema so, for example, a screening at The Odeon Leicester Square in London should only be recorded as (London).

Example city attributes are:

(Los Angeles, California)
(Berlin International Film Festival)
(London)
(Berlin)


Streaming platform attributes

Content released via a streaming platforms should include the attribute (internet) to indicate such. 

This includes (but isn't limited to) titles released on:

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • Disney+
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Twitch

For example:

Example of internet attribute



Premiere attributes

If a release date is a special premiere showing of this title, we indicate it via a (premiere) attribute.

Attributes are always enclosed in parentheses ( ), and multiple attributes must be enclosed separately with a space between each one. When there is more than one attribute, the first one should always be the location (festival name, city etc).

By "premiere" we mean a special event first screening within a country with the cast/crew in attendance. Here are some examples:

(Sundance Film Festival) (premiere)
(Los Angeles, California) (premiere)
(London) (premiere)


Re-release attributes

If a title is being widely re-released theatrically within a country, this should be indicated via a (re-release) attribute. If a release is of a newly restored version or director's cut and so on then this should also be indicated via an appropriate attribute.

We require complete dates for re-releases, because vague re-release dates can, with films re-released a lot, get various releases mixed up.

Examples include:

(restored version)
(Cannes Film Festival) (director's cut)
(TV premiere) (restored version)
(Sundance Film Festival) (special edition) (premiere)



Non-theatrical attributes

Sometimes, titles which are intended for release in cinemas instead end up going directly to video, TV, or online in certain countries (usually because of poor box office performance in other countries).

We indicate this via the attributes (video premiere) or (TV premiere) respectively. Please don't  submit video or TV release dates for titles which did receive a general theatrical release (outside festivals) in the same country as we do not have the resources to track every video and TV screening date in the database.

There's also no need to include the video premiere attribute on titles made for video nor the TV premiere on titles made for TV.

Conversely, sometimes a title that's made for TV or straight to video gets a theatrical release in some countries. In such cases, use the attribute (theatrical release) to indicate it.




Limited release attributes

If a release was in more than one or two geographical locations in a country, but not wide enough to qualify as a wide (no attributes) release, then please use the attribute (limited) instead. In countries with a larger population such as the USA, if a title is shown in 11-599 screens, this implies a limited release. Please note that once a title has been released widely (no attribute) we do not record further specific city opening dates.

Public festival work-in-progress screenings are accepted with the festival name and the additional attribute (work-in-progress).





 Episodic series release dates


Below is some key information for when it comes to release dates for episodic series (e.g. TV series, web series, podcast series):

  • Release dates for episodes should be added to the individual episode as opposed to the parent page.

  • The series start year will automatically reflect the release date of the first episode - this means you can correct the start year by updating the release date of the first episode.

Example of the start year for Loki 

  • When a show's final episode has aired, and it'll no longer be renewed - you can request the addition of a Series End Year - you can find out how to do this in our series end year guidelines

  • If you try and submit a release date correction via parent series as opposed to an episode, you'll see the error message "No existing data". This is because the content is stored on the episode and should be updated from there. 




 How to

Contains - adding release | updating release

Step 1

Navigate to the title page.


Step 2

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Edit page button


Step 3

Under the heading Basic Data, you will see the option Release Date.

Example of release date section

Adding new release dates



Step 4

On the drop-down to the right, click Add 1 Item.

Example of add 1 item section


Step 5

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Continue.


Step 6

Add the date you would like, including the country and any attributes (if required).

Example new release date


Step 7

Scroll down and click Check these updates.


Step 8

If everything's OK the submission will turn green, and you're ready to move on: 

Example of a good submission

Continue to the next step. 


If there are problems, the box will yellow or red and will need correcting before submitting.

Read the error/warning that appears and rectify the submission as needed - for example:

Example of submission warning

Follow this up by clicking 'Re-check these updates' and another eligibility check will happen. Repeat this process until the box turns green.


Step 9

Click Submit at the bottom of the page and one of our editirs will review this request for you.


Updating existing release dates



Step 4

On the drop-down to the right, click Correct/Delete.

Example of add 1 item section


Step 5

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Continue.


Step 6

Find the release date you would like to change and using the drop-down, select Correct.

Example of correcting release date


Step 7

Scroll down and click Check these updates.


Step 8

Amend the release date of the title and scroll down and click Check these updates.


Step 9

Address any errors or warnings that appear on the page and re-click Re-check these updates.


Step 10

Click Submit at the bottom of the page and one of our editirs will review this request for you.

Tracking your request

For further information about how long it will take for an update to be reviewed and appear on the website, along with how to track your request - see our processing time article.

Did this answer your question?
Thank you! We’d love to hear more about your experience. Please help us improve by taking this 2 minute survey.
Thank you! We’d love to hear more about your experience. Please help us improve by taking this 2 minute survey.
Thank you! We’d love to hear more about your experience. Please help us improve by taking this 2 minute survey.
Back to top