Rotten Tomatoes Says It’s Considering Making Users Prove They’ve Seen a Movie Before Rating It
Rotten Tomatoes continues to have issues with its audience score. The movie review aggregator announced in late February they were changing their audience score so that fans couldn’t vote on a movie until after it was released in theaters. (Don’t ask me why you would want to rate a movie before you see it in the first place, but let’s save that question for another time.) If their goal was to keep trolls from deliberately sinking movies like Captain Marvel’s audience score, though, they failed.
Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War have the same CinemaScore from theatergoers: A. On Rotten Tomatoes, though, audiences (“audiences”) have given the two recent Marvel movies very different ratings. Infinity War has a 91 percent from moviegoers, with some 53,000 votes. Meanwhile Captain Marvel — which has only been in theaters for seven days, and been seen by far fewer people than Infinity War so far — has a 62 percent audience score with over 64,000 votes to date.
The sheer number of people who’ve voted in so short a time, tells you something is up; namely a contingent of angry fans who hate Captain Marvel because it’s a pleasant and entertaining film about a woman who gets superpowers are giving it bad scores sight unseen. And now Rotten Tomatoes is reportedly considering further action. A spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that soon Rotten Tomatoes users “may be asked to verify that he or she has seen the film in question before being allowed to post a critique.”
There’s no specifics about how this would be done, but Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Fandango, the movie ticket website, so it’s easy to envision a scenario where if you buy a ticket through Fandango you unlock the ability to then rate the film on Rotten Tomatoes. A Fandango executive told THR “we are disappointed that there was a group of people who were obviously very passionate and who had a negative opinion of the movie, whether they saw it or not.”
As I said when RT first began making changes to the audience score, I don’t really know why the site needs an audience score in the first place. If it’s going to have one, it needs to be totally overhauled; at this point I don’t think any informed consumer should put any trust into the one on the site. Verifying someone has actually seen a movie before giving an opinion about it — what a bold concept! — seems like the bare minimum of things to do to restore some confidence in it.
Gallery — Movies With Baffling CinemaScores: