Over the last 20 years, Rotten Tomatoes has grown from a small movie review website invented by three Berkeley undergrads to a massively influential enterprise owned by a huge corporation.
Its influence has increased as well: A great rating ("fresh" as opposed to "rotten) at Rotten Tomatoes will be cited in movie and Netflix ads, and play a role in how well the film is received, performs at the box office and later, in sales and rentals. But now, many longtime users are giving the site's latest decision a "thumbs down."
Rotten Tomatoes has made major changes to its audience rating system, the movie review aggregator announced today. Those changes include eliminating the ability to leave an audience member ["Want To See"] review before the movie is released to theaters, i.e., before it could have an audience. (...)
The site’s audience scores have been high-profile targets of review-bombing campaigns, the practice of tanking the audience review score in an organized wave, usually over an ideological disagreement with the movie’s creators or its perceived content.
What brought on this change after all these years?
I think it's because of the hotly touted (and criticized) upcoming movie Captain Marvel, in which the titular character is being played by a female actor — who went around making racist, anti-male comments.
As we've seen, the reaction from both comic book fans and average people to this casting decision was a resounding, "Huh??" A lot of consumers sick to death of the politicization of pop culture icons responded by lowering the movie's "Want To See" score at Rotten Tomatoes.
And Hollywood can't have that, right...?