Rotten Tomatoes Isn't Tanking Hollywood Films According to New Study

It has been a rough summer at the box office. Even with the success of Wonder Woman, the summer of 2017 has been one of the worst in recent Hollywood history and while executives look for something to take the blame a new study finds that Rotten Tomatoes isn't the culprit.

Earlier this year, Entertainment Weekly spoke with Brett Ratner, whose RatPac Entertianment co-financed Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he made a bold claim about film critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

"The worst thing that we have in today's movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes," Ratner said. "I think it's the destruction of our business."

To determine whether Ratner's accusation was accurate USC's Entertainment Technology Center conducted a study and as, Vulture reports, found no correlation between Rotten Tomatoes scores and box office returns, both in 2017 and in general.

For the study Yves Bergquist, the director of the center's Data and Analytics Project, looked at not just all 150 films released this year so far, but also film releases going back seventeen years to 2000 and what Bergquist found may not be much of a surprise for most moviegoers.


"There's virtually no difference between critics' scores and audiences' scores, and the more successful the film at the box office, the smaller the difference," Bergquist said. "Audiences are becoming extremely adept at predicting and judging the quality of a film."

That adeptness may mean that moviegoers have higher expectations and that could translate to fewer ticket sales -- not the Rotten Tomatoes score. With movie offerings frequently including sequels, remakes and reboots (including reboots of reboots) it's possible that the real culprit when it comes to poor box office performance is the films themselves.