When the Oscar nominations are announced, it almost always causes an uptick in the box office for whichever titles are still in theaters. This increase in attention also leads more people to rate the films at the Internet Movie Database (whether they've actually seen them or not), and Ryan Adams at Awards Daily has noticed a strange trend: Milk's multiple Oscar nominations led to a precipitous decline in its popularity. Wait, what?

Adams has a graph showing various films' positions on IMDb's Top 250, which are determined by users rating each film on a scale of 1-10. There are day-to-day fluctuations, especially when a film is still current, but Milk was holding steady at around #180. Then, as soon as the Oscar nominations were announced last Thursday, Milk took a serious nosedive. Within 24 hours, it had dropped from #182 to #211. The decline has continued, and it now sits at #223.

Why the sudden and huge backlash? Surely all those people giving it a "1" rating didn't all hurry out and see it -- and hate it -- the day the Oscar nods were announced. Either they'd already seen it and hated it and weren't motivated to express their disdain until after it got so much Oscar attention; or else they still haven't seen it and hate it anyway. When so many people cast "1" votes in such a short span of time, it's hard to believe those are the true opinions of actual viewers of the film.

Adams' theory is that these are gay-haters who can't stand the idea of a gay-themed film doing well with critics and the Academy. He notes that a similar drop-off happened with Brokeback Mountain three years ago. There's no way to know if that's really what's happening, but it's a plausible theory, especially with things like California's Proposition 8 putting gay rights in the news so much recently.