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json – Using theMovieDB to display Image Poster with PHP

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m new to using the themoviedb JSON api, and I’m currently trying to do something that seems simple: Display a movie’s main poster. I got an API key and here is the code / response I’m using.

$ca = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ca, CURLOPT_URL, "http://api.themoviedb.org/3/configuration?api_key=MYAPIKEY");
curl_setopt($ca, CURLOPT_HEADER, FALSE);
curl_setopt($ca, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array("Accept: application/json"));
$response = curl_exec($ca);
$config = json_decode($response, true);
//$base = $config['base_url'];

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, "http://api.themoviedb.org/3/search/movie?query=Monsters+University&api_key=MYAPIKEY");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, FALSE);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array("Accept: application/json"));
$response = curl_exec($ch);
$result = json_decode($response, true);
echo("<img src='" . $config[0]['base_url'] . $config[0]['poster_sizes'][2] . $result[0]['poster_path'] . "'/>");

My only question now is I’m trying to echo a tag to display the poster, but I’m not sure what the correct code would be would it be something like this?

$responsePHP = json_decode($response);
echo("<img src='" . $responsePHP['poster_path'] . "'/>");

Any help would be appreciated!

Edit: Added the config array, but it the echo returns with nothing. The JSON for both print out fine and print_r seems to work with json_decode, I just don’t know why I can’t pull out any values from the arrays

How to&Answers:

It seems you need to do an additional request to /3/configuration in order to get some extra info.

The parameter you are looking for is base_url which you can use to construct the urls.

Read more here: http://docs.themoviedb.apiary.io/#get-%2F3%2Fconfiguration

You may be wondering why is that required. According to their site, they did it so they can keep their API light, and it seems the base_url rarely changes (see https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/515a72d0760ee3615a0b5256 for more)

So, you could do that request only once every X time (like once a day for instance) and then use the base_url I get there in all the subsequent requests I may need to do.

EDIT: Sigh, I thought you had problems only for not having the base_url, not with getting the data from the json.

Anyway, just replace the last line to this:

echo("<img src='" . $config['images']['base_url'] . $config['images']['poster_sizes'][2] . $result['results'][0]['poster_path'] . "'/>");

And that’s it.


you’re close. you have to grab the base_url from configuration just like you did for the movie query (http://docs.themoviedb.apiary.io/#configuration) and prepend the base_url to what you have and then you also need the poster or backdrop size. it should be something like this:

echo("<img src='" . $config['base_url'] . $config['poster_sizes'][2] . $responsePHP['poster_path'] . "'/>");

so the output should be something like:


The following will print out the poster path. I think that’s what you want.

$responsePHP = json_decode($response);
$movies = $responsePHP->results;
$firstMovie = $movies[0];
echo $firstMovie->poster_path;

If your question is about how to get the base_url then look at vadderung’s answer.