With how fast everything is moving now, I'm a week late on this post - but the underlying subject is still relevant and will continue to have effects on movies, fandom, and culture in general.
Last week, the Rotten Tomatoes review site shut down its “Interested/Not Interested” section, where users could vote “want to see” or “don't want to see” and comment on upcoming movies. This came at the end of a day of furious activity in the fandom community, where fan YouTube channels were tracking the plummeting of the upcoming Captain Marvel rating.
It fell to about 26% interest through the day, before Rotten Tomatoes shut down that section of the site. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this was part of a planned adjustment/updating of the site and had nothing to do. with Captain Marvel. Their actual intention, they said, was to shut down what they called ‘review bombing’ that ‘sometimes bordered on trolling’.
Their true purpose is unclear, at least to me - but many made the conclusion that they are protecting entertainment powerhouse Disney from bad press before the next movie is released. Ticket seller Fandango owns Rotten Tomatoes, so it is in their interest to keep ticket sales up (Fandango is, in turn, owned by Warner Brothers. Not Disney. But still, keeping ticket sales up is in their interest!)
This whole thing took place on the tail end of a marketing campaign that seemed to be very divisive among fans - comments made by the star of the movie have been taken badly. Justified or not, a portion of the fans are not pleased.
My guess would be that shutting down the conversation in this way, regardless of the motives, will not benefit the movie at the box office…
Captain Marvel opens tomorrow - we'll see how it fares!
Banes at 12:00AM, March 7, 2019
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