In a dramatic twist of events, producers of recent box office flops Baywatch and Whatever That New Pirates of the Caribbean Sequel/Prequel Is, are now blaming Rotten Tomatoes for their movies’ poor performance.
They might have a point though…
Despite heavy marketing and high audience testing, the success or failure of big-budget movies almost exclusively follows the initial reviews.
In particular, online ratings sites like Rotten Tomatoes have had a noticeable impact on box office performance for the past several years.
But is that bad? Shouldn’t audiences naturally look for what movies are good before shelling out $15?
Depends on how you rate “good”
The overall Rotten Tomato-meter is based on critical reviews, which as The Rock pointed out, can differ greatly from fan opinions.
To his point: Baywatch got an 18% with Rotten Tomato critics and 70% with fans.
That said, looking at IMDB’s fully user generated score — which even breaks down data by demographic — the movie got just 5.6/10. The people have spoken.
Bottom line: critics and audience opinions will differ sometimes. But when your ticket sales tank despite featuring the future President of the United States, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you might have to accept it’s a beached whale.
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