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.


$url = '';

//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)
	return $matches[1];

//gets the data from a URL
function get_data($url)
	$ch = curl_init();
	$timeout = 5;
	$data = curl_exec($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
    Vibration API

    Many of the new APIs provided to us by browser vendors are more targeted toward the mobile user than the desktop user.  One of those simple APIs the Vibration API.  The Vibration API allows developers to direct the device, using JavaScript, to vibrate in...

  • By
    CSS Animations Between Media Queries

    CSS animations are right up there with sliced bread. CSS animations are efficient because they can be hardware accelerated, they require no JavaScript overhead, and they are composed of very little CSS code. Quite often we add CSS transforms to elements via CSS during...

Incredible Demos