As another week goes by, Captain Marvel sees another entry in its complicated history with Rotten Tomatoes. When the film opened, the audience score included comments and ratings that it had earned prior to its actual release, causing its score to plummet to the 30-percent range. The site claimed that this was a result of a glitch, with the film then clearing out thousands of ratings which had caused the poor score. In the week since the film has officially opened, Captain Marvel's audience scored has climbed past the 60-percent threshold, earning it a full popcorn bucket. The site notes, "When at least 60 percent of users give a movie or TV show a star rating of 3.5 or higher, a full popcorn bucket is displayed to indicate its Fresh status."
The controversy between the outlet and the film began when trolls swarmed the page to slam not just Captain Marvel, but also to leave sexist comments about star Brie Larson. These trolls gained so much publicity that Rotten Tomatoes announced it would no longer allow audiences to utilize the anticipation function.
The film currently has more than 64,000 user reviews, giving it a 61 percent positive score compared to its 79 percent positive critical score. This marks one of the most drastic differences between the critical and audience reactions in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Looking specifically at 2017 releases, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has an 83 percent positive critical score and an 87 percent audience score, Spider-Man: Homecoming has a 92 percent positive critical score and an 88 percent audience score, and Thor: Ragnarok has a 92 percent positive critical score and an 87 percent audience score.
Of all 21 films in the MCU, 18 films have a critical score and an audience score that falls within 10 percentage points of one another. Interestingly, another film with an audience score that is nearly 20 points lower than its critical score is Black Panther, which was targeted by racist internet trolls leading up to its release.
Another point worth noting is there is a direct correlation between the number of reviews an MCU film has scored from users and the films which have been targeted by trolls. Captain Marvel has been in theaters for one week and has 64,000 ratings, though the last MCU film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, currently only has 22,000 ratings after hitting theaters last July. Avengers: Infinity War has fewer ratings than Captain Marvel, despite having landed in theaters 10 months ago.
Black Panther, however, has more than 86,000 ratings after hitting theaters in February of 2018.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Rotten Tomatoes would take more efforts to prevent trolls from swarming a film's page by potentially requiring users to prove they had seen a film before rating it, though it has yet to make an official comment on the matter.
Captain Marvel is in theaters now.
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