Rotten Tomatoes is Making People Wait Until After Release to Leave Negative Reviews for Movies They Haven’t Seen

For some dumbass reason I will never understand, until about two days ago, Rotten Tomatoes let you leave comments on films that hadn’t released yet. They also had an anticipation score, called “Want to Watch” on films, which lets you know what movies the sort of people who leave comments on YouTube videos think about movies.

I seriously don’t know what they were even thinking when this feature was implemented. It turns out, shockingly, that the only people motivated to use it are fanboys and people motivated by weird political grudges. And because people were leaving low scores for a Disney/Marvel film, they finally scrapped the whole system.

Starting this week, Rotten Tomatoes will launch the first of several phases of updates that will refresh and modernize our Audience Rating System. We’re doing it to more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and public forums from bad actors.

As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period. Why you might ask?  We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number. (The ‘Audience Score’ percentage, for those who haven’t been following, is the percentage of all users who have rated the movie or TV show positively – that is, given it a star rating of 3.5 or higher – and is only shown once the movie or TV show is released.)

I don’t have a problem with them them removing the “Want to See” score, because, as I mentioned, it’s a useless measurement of nothing. When is the last time you felt compelled to go to Rotten Tomatoes and put in a score for a movie you wanted (or didn’t want) to see? That’s how useful this thing was.

The problem I have is with the circumstances. A high-profile popcorn movie (Captain Marvel) got a bad audience score because the star pissed off a bunch of dorks by pointing out most of the people who do movie junkets are white. I know, it’s really dumb, but this is an entirely online drama that effects absolutely nothing in the real world, so of course it’s dumb.

A group of people on the internet tanking the anticipation score for Captain Marvel proves the the metric is worthless, but it was just as worthless for every other movie. If this relatively small group of people can take a movie with a projected opening weekend box office of over $120 million down to 30%, then it was never actually measuring anything to begin with.

The renovations don’t stop there, though.

What else are we doing? We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.

Why was this ever a thing? What “constructive input” ever came from an internet comment on a movie no one has seen yet? Even when people have seen a movie, internet comments on them are pretty evenly divided between “I felt this movie needed to have more non-binary demisexual fursonas in it, you nazi assholes” and “lol, get cucked libtards.”

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