So much hatred descended upon Captain Marvel on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes that the outlet changed their protocols in regards to movies that have yet to be released. Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is also familiar with internet trolls spending their spare time bashing a movie, taking to Twitter to joke how a low audience rating on the site is actually a positive thing.
The filmmaker shared a post detailing how users had lowered Captain Marvel's audience score to the lowest figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's history, adding, "Pretty much the new 'Certified Fresh' badge."
The Last Jedi's critical score on the site is 91 percent positive reviews, putting it behind Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Its audience score, however, is only 44 percent of users claiming to have enjoyed it, the lowest number in the franchise. Despite the film having only been released 15 months ago, it has more than 200,000 user ratings, which is more than 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story user ratings combined.
Weeks before the film landed in theaters, users began flooding Captain Marvel's user reviews page to leave negative comments about the film. With the film not yet released, these weren't technically "reviews," but was a place where users would weigh in on whether they were looking forward to a film or not, in addition to having the opportunity to leave comments. A distinct trend emerged in which users were leaving sexist remarks in the comments, making it clear that this was a calculated campaign from trolls who hoped to have their ignorant opinions posted anywhere they could with the belief that this would make any impact on the film's release whatsoever. Some users may have expressed genuine reasons why they weren't particularly interested in this installment of the MCU, though specific comments about star Brie Larson's call for more inclusivity in films and in film journalism stood out among the more mundane comments, confirming a vast amount of sexist trolls.
This troll infestation spread to other parts of Rotten Tomatoes, with Star Wars: Episode IX, whose title has yet to be announced and has offered no official looks publicly, also beginning to garner negative comments with both sexist and racist remarks. With these trolls making headlines, Rotten Tomatoes opted to remove that "Audience Anticipation" function from the site entirely.
Rotten Tomatoes shared in a blog post, "Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action."
Much like The Last Jedi earning a "Certified Fresh," distinction, Captain Marvel is also Certified Fresh, sitting at 82 percent positive reviews.
Captain Marvel is in theaters now. Rian Johnson is developing a trilogy of Star Wars films for Lucasfilm.
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