Rotten Tomatoes

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Rotten Tomatoes_table_infobox_0

Rotten TomatoesRotten Tomatoes_table_caption_0
Type of siteRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_0_0 Film and television review aggregator and user communityRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_0_1
Country of originRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_1_0 United StatesRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_1_1
OwnerRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_2_0 Rotten Tomatoes_cell_0_2_1
Founder(s)Rotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_3_0 Senh DuongRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_3_1
Key peopleRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_4_0 Senh Duong

Patrick Y. Lee Stephen WangRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_4_1

URLRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_5_0 Rotten Tomatoes_cell_0_5_1
CommercialRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_6_0 YesRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_6_1
RegistrationRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_7_0 OptionalRotten Tomatoes_cell_0_7_1
LaunchedRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_8_0 August 12, 1998; 22 years ago (1998-08-12)Rotten Tomatoes_cell_0_8_1
OCLC numberRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_0_9_0 Rotten Tomatoes_cell_0_9_1

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_0

The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_1

Although the name "Rotten Tomatoes" connects to the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance, the original inspiration comes from a scene featuring tomatoes in the Canadian film Léolo (1992). Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_2

Since January 2010, Rotten Tomatoes has been owned by Flixster, which was in turn acquired by Warner Bros. in 2011. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_3

In February 2016, Rotten Tomatoes and its parent site Flixster were sold to Comcast's Fandango. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_4

Warner Bros. retained a minority stake in the merged entities, including Fandango. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_5

History Rotten Tomatoes_section_0

Rotten Tomatoes was launched on August 12, 1998, as a spare-time project by Senh Duong. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_6

His objective in creating Rotten Tomatoes was "to create a site where people can get access to reviews from a variety of critics in the U.S." Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_7

As a fan of Jackie Chan, Duong was inspired to create the website after collecting all the reviews of Chan's Hong Kong action movies as they were being released in the United States. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_8

The catalyst for the creation of the website was Rush Hour (1998), Chan's first major Hollywood crossover, which was originally planned to release in August 1998. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_9

Duong coded the website in two weeks and the site went live the same month, but the release of Rush Hour was delayed until September 1998. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_10

Besides Jackie Chan films, he began including other films on Rotten Tomatoes, extending it beyond Chan's fandom. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_11

The first non-Chan Hollywood movie whose reviews were featured on Rotten Tomatoes was Your Friends & Neighbors (1998). Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_12

The website was an immediate success, receiving mentions by Netscape, Yahoo! Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_13 , and USA Today within the first week of its launch; it attracted "600–1000 daily unique visitors" as a result. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_14

Duong teamed up with University of California, Berkeley classmates Patrick Y. Lee and Stephen Wang, his former partners at the Berkeley, California-based web design firm Design Reactor, to pursue Rotten Tomatoes on a full-time basis. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_15

They officially launched it on April 1, 2000. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_16

In June 2004, IGN Entertainment acquired Rotten Tomatoes for an undisclosed sum. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_17

In September 2005, IGN was bought by News Corp's Fox Interactive Media. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_18

In January 2010, IGN sold the website to Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_19

The combined reach of both companies is 30 million unique visitors a month across all different platforms, according to the companies. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_20

In 2011, Warner Bros. acquired Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_21

In early 2009, Current Television launched The Rotten Tomatoes Show, a televised version of the web review site. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_22

It was hosted by Brett Erlich and Ellen Fox and written by Mark Ganek. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_23

The show aired Thursdays at 10:30 EST until September 16, 2010. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_24

It returned as a much shorter segment of InfoMania, a satirical news show that ended in 2011. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_25

By late 2009, the website was designed to enable Rotten Tomatoes users to create and join groups to discuss various aspects of film. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_26

One group, "The Golden Oyster Awards", accepted votes of members for various awards, spoofing the better-known Academy Awards or Golden Globes. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_27

When Flixster bought the company, they disbanded the groups. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_28

As of February 2011, new community features have been added and others removed. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_29

For example, users can no longer sort films by Fresh Ratings from Rotten Ratings, and vice versa. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_30

On September 17, 2013, a section devoted to scripted television series, called TV Zone, was created as a subsection of the website. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_31

In February 2016, Rotten Tomatoes and its parent site Flixster were sold to Comcast's Fandango. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_32

Warner Bros retained a minority stake in the merged entities, including Fandango. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_33

In December 2016, Fandango and all its various websites moved to Fox Interactive Media's former headquarters in Beverly Hills, California. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_34

In July 2017, the website's editor-in-chief since 2007, Matt Atchity, left to join The Young Turks YouTube channel. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_35

On November 1, 2017, the site launched a new web series on Facebook, See It/Skip It, hosted by Jacqueline Coley and Segun Oduolowu. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_36

In March 2018, the site announced its new design, icons and logo for the first time in 19 years at South by Southwest. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_37

Traffic Rotten Tomatoes_section_1

Rotten Tomatoes is a top 1000 site, placing around #400 globally and top 150 for the US only, according to website ranker Alexa. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_38

Monthly unique visitors to the domain is 26M global (14.4M US) according to audience measurement service Quantcast. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_39

Features Rotten Tomatoes_section_2

Critic aggregate score Rotten Tomatoes_section_3

Rotten Tomatoes staff first collect online reviews from writers who are certified members of various writing guilds or film critic-associations. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_40

To be accepted as a critic on the website, a critic's original reviews must garner a specific number of "likes" from users. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_41

Those classified as "Top Critics" generally write for major newspapers. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_42

The critics upload their reviews to the movie page on the website, and need to mark their review "fresh" if it's generally favorable or "rotten" otherwise. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_43

It is necessary for the critic to do so as some reviews are qualitative and do not grant a numeric score, making it impossible for the system to be automatic. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_44

The website keeps track of all the reviews counted for each film and calculates the percentage of positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_45

Major recently released films can attract more than 400 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_46

If the positive reviews make up 60% or more, the film is considered "fresh", in that a supermajority of the reviewers approve of the film. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_47

If the positive reviews are less than 60%, the film is considered "rotten". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_48

An average score on a 0 to 10 scale is also calculated. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_49

With each review, a short excerpt of the review is quoted that also serves a hyperlink to the complete review essay for anyone interested to read the critic's full thoughts on the subject. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_50

"Top Critics", such as Roger Ebert, Desson Thomson, Stephen Hunter, Owen Gleiberman, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Peter Travers and Michael Phillips are identified in a sub-listing that calculates their reviews separately. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_51

Their opinions are also included in the general rating. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_52

When there are sufficient reviews, the staff creates and posts a consensus statement to express the general reasons for the collective opinion of the film. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_53

This rating is indicated by an equivalent icon at the film listing, to give the reader a one-glance look at the general critical opinion about the work. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_54

The "Certified Fresh" seal is reserved for movies that satisfy two criteria: a "Tomatometer" of 75% or better and at least 80 reviews (40 for limited release movies) from "Tomatometer" critics (including 5 Top Critics). Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_55

Films earning this status will keep it unless the positive critical percentage drops below 70%. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_56

Films with 100% positive ratings but fewer than required reviews may not receive the "Certified Fresh" seal. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_57

Tomatometer Rankings Rotten Tomatoes_section_4

Rotten Tomatoes_table_general_1

IconRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_1_0_0 ScoreRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_1_0_1 DescriptionRotten Tomatoes_header_cell_1_0_2
Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_1_0 70–100%Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_1_1 Certified Fresh: Wide-release films with a score of 75% or higher that are reviewed by at least 80 critics, of which 5 are "Top Critics", are given this seal. The "Certified Fresh" seal remains until the score drops below 70%. Films with limited releases require only 40 reviews (including 5 from "Top Critics") to qualify for this seal. For TV shows, only individual seasons are eligible for consideration, and each must have at least 20 critic reviews.Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_1_2
Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_2_0 60–100%Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_2_1 Fresh: Films or TV shows with a score of 60% or higher that do not meet the requirements for the "Certified Fresh" seal.Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_2_2
Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_3_0 0–59%Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_3_1 Rotten: Films or TV shows with a score of 0–59% receive this seal.Rotten Tomatoes_cell_1_3_2

When a film or TV show reaches the requirements for the "Certified Fresh", it is not automatically granted the seal, but is instead flagged for the staff's consideration. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_58

Once the team assesses the reviews and response to the film or TV show, and decide that it is unlikely that the score will fall below the minimum requirements in the future, they will then mark it as "Certified Fresh". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_59

Golden Tomato Awards Rotten Tomatoes_section_5

In the year 2000, Rotten Tomatoes announced the RT Awards honoring the best-reviewed films of the year according to the website's rating system. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_60

This was later renamed the Golden Tomato Awards. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_61

The nominees and winners are announced on the website, although there is no actual awards ceremony. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_62

The films are divided into wide release and limited release categories. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_63

Limited releases are defined as opening in 599 or fewer theaters at initial release. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_64

Platform releases, movies initially released under 600 theaters but later receiving wider distribution, fall under this definition. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_65

Any film opening in more than 600 theaters is considered wide release. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_66

There are also two categories purely for British and Australian films. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_67

The "User"-category represents the highest rated film among users, and the "Mouldy"-award represents the worst-reviewed films of the year. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_68

A movie must have 40 (originally 20) or more rated reviews to be considered for domestic categories. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_69

It must have 500 or more user ratings to be considered for the "User"-category. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_70

Films are further classified based on film genre. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_71

Each movie is eligible in only one genre, aside from non-English language films, which can be included in both their genre and the respective "Foreign" category. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_72

Once a film is considered eligible, its "votes" are counted. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_73

Each critic from the website's list gets one vote (as determined by their review), all weighted equally. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_74

Because reviews are continually added, manually and otherwise, a cutoff date at which new reviews are not counted toward the Golden Tomato awards is initiated each year, usually the first of the new year. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_75

Reviews without ratings are not counted toward the results of the Golden Tomato Awards. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_76

Critics consensus Rotten Tomatoes_section_6

Each movie features a brief summary of the reviews used in that entry's Tomatometer aggregate score. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_77

These are written by Jeff Giles, a longtime author for the site. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_78

Audience score and reviews Rotten Tomatoes_section_7

Each movie features a "user average", which calculates the percentage of registered users who have rated the film positively on a 5-star scale, similar to calculation of recognized critics' reviews. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_79

In May 2019, Rotten Tomatoes introduced a verified rating system that would replace the earlier system where users were merely required to register in order to submit a rating. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_80

Henceforth, in addition to creating an account, users will have to verify their ticket purchase through Fandango, a ticketing company which Rotten Tomatoes is a subsidiary of. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_81

While users can still leave reviews without verifying, those reviews will not account for the average audience score displayed next to the Tomatometer. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_82

Localized versions Rotten Tomatoes_section_8

Localized versions of the site available in the United Kingdom, India, and Australia were discontinued following the acquisition of Rotten Tomatoes by Fandango. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_83

The Mexican version of the site, Tomatazos [], remains active. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_84

API Rotten Tomatoes_section_9

The Rotten Tomatoes API provides limited access to critic and audience ratings and reviews, allowing developers to incorporate Rotten Tomatoes data on other websites. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_85

The free service is intended for use in the US only; permission is required for use elsewhere. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_86

Influence Rotten Tomatoes_section_10

Major Hollywood studios have come to see Rotten Tomatoes as a threat to their marketing. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_87

In 2017 several blockbuster films like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Baywatch and The Mummy were projected to open with gross receipts of $90 million, $50 million and $45 million respectively, but ended up debuting with $62.6 million, $23.1 million and $31.6 million. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_88

Rotten Tomatoes, which scored the films at 30%, 19% and 16%, respectively, was blamed for undermining them. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_89

That same summer, films like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming (both 92%) received high scores and opened at or exceeded expectations with their $100+ million trackings. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_90

As result of this concern, 20th Century Fox commissioned a 2015 study, titled "Rotten Tomatoes and Box Office", that stated the website combined with social media was going to be an increasingly serious complication for the film business: "The power of Rotten Tomatoes and fast-breaking word of mouth will only get stronger. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_91

Many Millennials and even Gen X-ers now vet every purchase through the Internet, whether it's restaurants, video games, make-up, consumer electronics or movies. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_92

As they get older and comprise an even larger share of total moviegoers, this behavior is unlikely to change". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_93

Other studios have commissioned a number of studies on the subject, with them finding that seven out of 10 people said they would be less interested in seeing a film if the Rotten Tomatoes score was 0-25, and that the site has the most influence on people 25 and younger. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_94

The scores have reached a level of online ubiquity which film companies have found threatening. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_95

For instance, the scores are regularly posted in Google search results for films so reviewed. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_96

Furthermore, the scores are prominently featured in Fandango's popular ticket purchasing website and its mobile app, Flixster, which led to complaints that "rotten" scores damaged films' performances. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_97

Others have argued that filmmakers and studios have only themselves to blame if Rotten Tomatoes produces a bad score, as this only reflects a poor reception among film critics. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_98

As one independent film distributor marketing executive noted, "To me, it's a ridiculous argument that Rotten Tomatoes is the problem ... make a good movie!". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_99

ComScore's Paul Dergarabedian had similar comments, saying: "The best way for studios to combat the 'Rotten Tomatoes Effect' is to make better movies, plain and simple". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_100

Some studios have suggested embargoing or cancelling early critic screenings in a response to poor reviews prior to a film's release affecting pre-sales and opening weekend numbers. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_101

In July 2017, Sony embargoed critic reviews for The Emoji Movie until mid-day the Thursday before its release. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_102

The film ended up with a 9% rating (including 0% after the first 25 reviews), but still opened to $24 million, on par with projections. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_103

Josh Greenstein, Sony Pictures President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, said: "The Emoji Movie was built for people under 18 ... so we wanted to give the movie its best chance. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_104

What other wide release with a score under 8 percent has opened north of $20 million? Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_105

I don't think there is one". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_106

Conversely, Warner Bros. also did not do critic pre-screenings for The House, which ended up with a 16% rating, until the day of its release, but it still opened to just $8.7 million, the lowest of star Will Ferrell's career. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_107

That marketing tactic can backfire, and drew the vocal disgust of influential critics such as Roger Ebert, who was prone to derisively condemn such moves, with gestures such as "The Wagging Finger of Shame", on At the Movies. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_108

Furthermore, the very nature of withholding reviews can draw early conclusions from the public that the film is of poor quality because of that marketing tactic. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_109

On February 26, 2019, in response to issues surrounding coordinated "bombing" of user reviews for several films, most notably Captain Marvel and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, prior to their release, the site announced that user reviews would no longer be accepted until a film is publicly released. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_110

The site also announced plans to introduce a system for "verified" reviews, and that the "Want to See" statistic would now be expressed as a number so that it is not confused with the audience score. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_111

Reception Rotten Tomatoes_section_11

Rotten Tomatoes won the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Entertainment in the category Web. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_112

Oversimplification Rotten Tomatoes_section_12

In January 2010, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the New York Film Critics Circle, its chairman Armond White cited Rotten Tomatoes in particular and film review aggregators in general as examples of how "the Internet takes revenge on individual expression". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_113

He said they work by "dumping reviewers onto one website and assigning spurious percentage-enthusiasm points to the discrete reviews". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_114

According to White, such websites "offer consensus as a substitute for assessment". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_115

Director and producer Brett Ratner has criticized the website for "reducing hundreds of reviews culled from print and online sources into a popularized aggregate score", and feels it is the "worst thing that we have in today's movie culture". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_116

Writer Max Landis, following his film Victor Frankenstein receiving an approval rating of 24% on the site, wrote that the site "breaks down entire reviews into just the word 'yes' or 'no', making criticism binary in a destructive arbitrary way". Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_117

Criticism Rotten Tomatoes_section_13

American director Martin Scorsese wrote a column in The Hollywood Reporter criticizing both Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaScore for promoting the idea that films like Mother! Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_118

had to be "instantly liked" to be successful. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_119

In 2015, while promoting the film Suffragette (which has a 73% approval rating) actress Meryl Streep accused Rotten Tomatoes of disproportionately representing the opinions of male film critics, resulting in a skewed ratio that adversely affected the commercial performances of female-driven films. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_120

"I submit to you that men and women are not the same, they like different things", she said. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_121

"Sometimes they like the same thing, but sometimes their tastes diverge. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_122

If the Tomatometer is slighted so completely to one set of tastes that drives box office in the United States, absolutely." Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_123

Critics took issue with the sentiment that someone's gender or ethnic background would dictate their response to art. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_124

Rotten Tomatoes deliberately withheld the critic score for Justice League based on early reviews until the premiere of its See It/Skip It episode on the Thursday before its release. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_125

Some critics viewed the move as a ploy to promote the web series, but some argued that the move was a deliberate conflict of interest on account of Warner Bros.' ownership of the film and Rotten Tomatoes, and the tepid critical reception to the DC Extended Universe films at the time. Rotten Tomatoes_sentence_126

See also Rotten Tomatoes_section_14

Rotten Tomatoes_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Tomatoes.