PHP IMDB Scraper

By  on  

It's been quite a while since I've written a PHP grabber and the itch finally got to me. This time the victim is the International Movie Database, otherwise known as IMDB. IMDB has info on every movie ever made (or so it seems). Their HTML source code is easy to parse so this one was a piece of cake.

The PHP

//url
$url = 'http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/';

//get the page content
$imdb_content = get_data($url);

//parse for product name
$name = get_match('/<title>(.*)<\/title>/isU',$imdb_content);
$director = strip_tags(get_match('/<h5[^>]*>Director:<\/h5>(.*)<\/div>/isU',$imdb_content));
$plot = get_match('/<h5[^>]*>Plot:<\/h5>(.*)<\/div>/isU',$imdb_content);
$release_date = get_match('/<h5[^>]*>Release Date:<\/h5>(.*)<\/div>/isU',$imdb_content);
$mpaa = get_match('/<a href="\/mpaa">MPAA<\/a>:<\/h5>(.*)<\/div>/isU',$imdb_content);
$run_time = get_match('/Runtime:<\/h5>(.*)<\/div>/isU',$imdb_content);

//build content
$content.= '<h2>Film</h2><p>'.$name.'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>Director</h2><p>'.$director.'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>Plot</h2><p>'.substr($plot,0,strpos($plot,'<a')).'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>Release Date</h2><p>'.substr($release_date,0,strpos($release_date,'<a')).'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>MPAA</h2><p>'.$mpaa.'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>Run Time</h2><p>'.$run_time.'</p>';
$content.= '<h2>Full Details</h2><p><a href="'.$url.'" rel="nofollow">'.$url.'</a></p>';

echo $content;

//gets the match content
function get_match($regex,$content)
{
	preg_match($regex,$content,$matches);
	return $matches[1];
}

//gets the data from a URL
function get_data($url)
{
	$ch = curl_init();
	$timeout = 5;
	curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_URL,$url);
	curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER,1);
	curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT,$timeout);
	$data = curl_exec($ch);
	curl_close($ch);
	return $data;
}

As with my other grabbers, the trick is always in the regular expressions. Note that the most important part of the URL is the string after "/title/". That string uniquely identifies the movie.

Recent Features

  • By
    CSS 3D Folding Animation

    Google Plus provides loads of inspiration for front-end developers, especially when it comes to the CSS and JavaScript wonders they create. Last year I duplicated their incredible PhotoStack effect with both MooTools and pure CSS; this time I'm going to duplicate...

  • By
    Regular Expressions for the Rest of Us

    Sooner or later you'll run across a regular expression. With their cryptic syntax, confusing documentation and massive learning curve, most developers settle for copying and pasting them from StackOverflow and hoping they work. But what if you could decode regular expressions and harness their power? In...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Fading Links Using jQuery:  dwFadingLinks

    UPDATE: The jQuery website was down today which caused some issues with my example. I've made everything local and now the example works. Earlier this week, I posted a MooTools script that faded links to and from a color during the mouseover and mouseout events.

  • By
    Fixing sIFR Printing with CSS and MooTools

    While I'm not a huge sIFR advocate I can understand its allure. A customer recently asked us to implement sIFR on their website but I ran into a problem: the sIFR headings wouldn't print because they were Flash objects. Here's how to fix...