When Rotten Tomatoes debuted back in 1998, it was meant to serve as a way to compile reviews of movies and TV shows from all across the internet so that audiences could quickly see a breakdown of what critics were saying about a film or series. In recent years, the review aggregator has been seen as an objective qualifier of a movie, as the percentage of positive ratings is used by some as a way to dismiss or praise a movie's accomplishments. In recent years, racist and sexist internet trolls have swarmed the service in an attempt to impact various films' audiences scores, resulting in the service updating their review process, with the latest change being that users who purchase tickets to a film will now be considered "verified" reviewers.
"We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes' Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch," Paul Yanover, Fandango President, shared in a statement. "Having an Audience Score and reviews from fans who are confirmed ticket purchasers, will add even more usefulness to our product and increase consumer confidence."
Earlier this year, sexist trolls targeted Captain Marvel and began flooding the film's audience anticipation section with hateful remarks. This tabulated an "Anticipation Score" for the film, which quickly earned it the Marvel Cinematic Universe's lowest anticipation score. Despite some of these fans saying they didn't want to see it out of good faith, the abundance of hateful remarks made it clear that there was a campaign to create a negative image of the movie.
When the film was finally in theaters, these hateful remarks were lumped in with the actual user reviews, making it appear as though the film was hated to an unprecedented degree. Similarly, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker also began earning these hateful comments, causing Rotten Tomatoes to scrap the feature on the site.
With Fandango owning Rotten Tomatoes, anyone who purchases a ticket for a film through that service will be invited to leave a "verified" review of a film they purchase tickets for, which will be identified with a badge symbol. Fans can still leave reviews and rate movies even if they didn't purchase a ticket, they just won't be considered "verified" reviews and, when visiting a movie's page, fans will only see the audience score when based on verified reviews. However, there is still the option to sort through audience ratings to see all of them, verified or not.
While Fandango is currently the only way to sync your ticket purchases to Rotten Tomatoes, the service claims it will incorporate other sellers in the near future.
You can learn more about the process on Rotten Tomatoes' site.
What do you think of this new process? Let us know in the comments below!