It has become the talk of the town over the last year and more and more we are hearing about the impact that critic-ranking website Rotten Tomatoes. Last March, many were up in arms about Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when it was ranked at 27% after the totals were clocked up, while earlier this year some online fans showed their annoyance at Jordan Peele’s Get Out losing it’s perfect 100%.
More and more the ratings site is impacting films, both positively and negatively, and some big names in Hollywood have started to question its place, none more so than Batman v Superman producer Brett Ratner who has shared his feelings about the site after the controversy around the superhero face-off. Ratner, speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival, spoke of his respect for critics but that the site was the “destruction of our business”, saying:
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” said Ratner, whose company RatPac Entertainment co-financed Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (among dozens of other Warner Bros. titles). “I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
Does Ratner have a point? Do you think Rotten Tomatoes is harming films with their aggregated scoring system?