Rotten Tomatoes is adding a new feature to keep the Audience Score more authentic by verifying that users have seen the movie. And whiny, woman-hating man-babies are going to be pissed.
Rotten Tomatoes currently has two scores: the Tomatometer, which averages movie ratings from professional critics; and the Audience Score, which averages movie ratings from regular people. Previously, users have been able to manipulate the Audience Score for a particular movie through coordinated online campaigns by people who hadn’t even seen the film. The recent campaign against the superhero movie Captain Marvel was especially nasty because it had a strong female character—something that’s intimidating for a handful of sad, scared men out there.
The default audience score on Rotten Tomatoes will now include ratings from people who bought tickets through Fandango and thus verified that they probably saw the movie. Large chains AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark will be offering the Rotten Tomatoes verified program later in the year, though they’re still trying to work out the details, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Rotten Tomatoes now features an Audience Score made up of ratings from users we’ve confirmed bought tickets to the movie–we’re calling them ‘Verified Ratings.’ We’re also tagging written reviews from users we can confirm purchased tickets to a movie as ‘Verified’ reviews,” Rotten Tomatoes announced today on its website.
People who bought their tickets through Fandango, which owns Rotten Tomatoes, will get a push notification after the movie is done prompting them to write a review. The reviews and scores from users who haven’t been “verified” will still be available on the site, but they won’t be the default view on Rotten Tomatoes anymore.
“You’ll see written user reviews marked ‘Verified’ when you click into the Audience reviews section for a particular movie,” Rotten Tomatoes writes. “You can choose to view only verified reviews or read all included user reviews– verified and not–together.”
But you may be asking yourself, can’t one of these man-babies just buy a ticket, not see the movie, and leave a bad review anyway? Yes. But that becomes a very expensive troll, if we can even call it that. And I’m sure that the movie studios would be happy to sacrifice one bad review as long as the ticket was paid for.
Inevitably, we’re going to see troll campaigns to own social justice warriors by buying thousands of movie tickets to a movie that they hate. That’ll show ‘em.