Rotten Tomatoes Shuts Down Pre-Release Ratings and Comments After Trolls Target ‘Captain Marvel’

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Rotten Tomatoes, in a move to combat trolling, has banned user reviews and comments prior to a movie’s release.

The movie review site’s decision comes after “Captain Marvel” was inundated with bad reviews before it hit theaters, joining “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in late 2017  and “Black Panther” in early 2018 as films that trolls deliberately tried to decrease the Audience Score for.

“Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership,” Rotten Tomatoes said in a post outlining the change. “We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.”

Also Read: MoviePass Hires Ex-Rotten Tomatoes Editor as Moviefone General Manager

“Over the past few years, Rotten Tomatoes has been evolving into a robust movie and TV show recommendations platform that celebrates the views of professional critics and fans alike, and encourages discussion and debate,” Ara Nalbandian, head of product and technology, Rotten Tomatoes, said in a statement. “We continue to invest in our product to deliver useful and relevant resources for fans and are in development on new tools to help fans express their opinions and connect with others.”

The ban comes as Rotten Tomatoes plans to roll out several changes to its website in the coming months. Some of the fixes that Rotten Tomatoes is instituting includes verified reviews from ticket buyers, more community features and account personalization, and better data security.

Also introduced on Tuesday was an updated interface that places its Audience Score adjacent to its Tomatometer Score, which counts the collective opinions of thousands of critics. And, it would make it easier for fans to compare comments from fans and professional reviewers.

Also Read: 10 Worst Reviewed Films on Rotten Tomatoes, From ‘Ridiculous 6’ to ‘Gotti’ (Photos)

“Captain Marvel” was peppered with nasty comments last week, and star Brie Larson told Marie Claire she started to notice movie critics “appeared to be overwhelmingly white male,” and added that “moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive.”

The movie is set to open on March 8.

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Rotten Tomatoes Joins Sundance Institute’s Press Inclusion Initiative

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Rotten Tomatoes has joined Sundance Institute’s new Press Inclusion Initiative, which grants stipends to freelance journalists and critics attending the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Rotten Tomatoes’ $25,000 contribution to the initiative is part of the company’s $100,000 grant program, which was set up earlier this year to help critics gain access to film festivals. The first grant of $25,000 was given to the American Friends of TIFF fund for the Toronto International Film Festival. Rotten Tomatoes will continue to provide grants to organizations that help critics with costly travel expenses heading to festivals over the next year.

“Rotten Tomatoes is proud to be supporting Sundance Institute’s efforts to ensure that a diverse and inclusive group of critics and journalists will have access to the films premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes critic relations manager. “We will be working closely with Sundance Institute to vet their newly credentialed critics for Tomatometer approval prior to the start of the festival.”

Also Read: Rotten Tomatoes Adjusts Criteria to Include More Diverse Critics

Earlier this year, the Sundance Institute committed to allocating 20 percent of press credentials to critics from underrepresented communities.

In August, Rotten Tomatoes announced it would adjust its critics criteria for its Tomatometer rating system, allowing for a wider and more diverse pool of critics. The new criteria also includes newer media platforms. Since its launch, there have been 350 new Tomatometer-approved critics.

Also Read: Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o and Mindy Kaling Indies Lead Diverse 2019 Sundance Lineup

The Sundance Film Festival will take place January 24 through February 3 in Park City, Utah.

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“Flatliners” is the worst reviewed movie of the Fall so far, and one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year. But it’s not the worst reviewed film of all time. Check which ones are, courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes, ranked by number of re…

Male Film Critics Outnumber Women 2 to 1 – And Are Less Likely to Mention Female Directors, Study Says

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Male film critics still greatly outnumber women in the field, which adversely impacts exposure and recognition female-driven films and/or those directed by women receive, according to a new study.
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Gotti’s weird anti-critic campaign is spawning some very believable conspiracy theories

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Yesterday, we reported on the bizarre marketing tactics being used to promote John Travolta’s terribly received John Gotti biopic, Gotti. The movie’s marketing team railed against “troll” critics who lambasted the film and used the Rotten Tomatoes audi…

John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’ Scores Zero Percent on Rotten Tomatoes

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John Travolta’s new movie “Gotti” hit rock bottom faster than a cinderblock tied to a body being thrown into a river.

“Gotti” has scored a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes from film critics, a rare feat managed by only a few dozen movies. At the time of this writing, only 17 reviews have been counted for the film, so the film’s fortune could change. But, as of now, all reviews of the Travolta film are currently are rotten.

“That the long-gestating crime drama Gotti is a dismal mess comes as no surprise. What does shock is just how multifaceted a dismal mess it is,” Glenn Kenny wrote in his New York Times review.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 8: Andrew Garfield’s New Movie Divides, But Critics Are Unanimous About John Travolta’s ‘Gotti’

“He may have been a murderer, but even Gotti deserved better than this,” Brian Tallerico says at RogerEbert.com.

While “Gotti” is currently listed as the lowest rated film of Travolta’s career, this is the fourth movie under his filmography to get saddled with a goose egg aka zero score, including his last scored film “Life on the Line” from 2016, “Look Who’s Talking Now” from 1993 and “Staying Alive,” which came out in 1983. The notoriously awful “Battlefield Earth” has a paltry 3 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. (Rotten Tomatoes debuted in 1998. Movies that came out before that are scored retroactively, often based on newer reviews, written years after rated films entered theaters.)

“Gotti” is directed by Kevin Connolly of “Entourage” fame and is a biopic about the life of Italian-American mobster John Gotti and his son. It also stars Stacy Keach, Kelly Preston and Spencer Rocco Lofranco as John Gotti Jr. Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi wrote the screenplay.

The film played at Cannes back in May and received the same unanimously negative reaction from critics at the festival. “Gotti” is a passion project of Travolta’s that dates back to 2011. In late 2017, Lionsgate pulled the film from their schedule 10 days before it was set to hit theaters and sold it back to the production company Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.

“Gotti” opens today in 503 theaters across North America.

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‘Deadpool 2’ Shoots to $18.6 Million at Thursday Box Office, Smashing Record for R-Rated Film

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“Deadpool 2” shot to $18.6 million at the Thursday box office, surpassing its predecessor which earned $12.7 million in previews two years ago.

The sequel also broke the R-rated Thursday box office record that was previously held by “It.” The horror film grossed $13.5 million last September in previews.

Independent trackers expect the film to at least match the $132 million opening weekend scored by the first “Deadpool” in 2016, which was then a record for February releases.

Also Read: ‘Deadpool 2’ Film Review: Ryan Reynolds Gives His All to a Joke Told the Second Time

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For more comparisons, “Black Panther” grossed $25.2 million in previews, while “Thor: Ragnarok” thundered to $14.5 million. The former took in a total of $202 million its opening weekend, while “Ragnarok” grossed $122.7 million.

“Deadpool 2” sees the titular antihero start a new mutant team called X-Force to protect a young, surly mutant named Firefist (Julian Dennison) from falling into the clutches of Cable. In addition to starring as Deadpool, Reynolds shares writing credit with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, with David Leitch directing. Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy also star. After early reviews, the film has an 84 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, nearly identical to the score earned by its predecessor.

As counter-programming, Paramount is rolling out “Book Club,” which earned $625,000 in previews. It stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as a group of lifelong friends who decide to jumpstart their sluggish love lives after reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Tracking has the film only making $10-12 million from 2,800 locations, with Paramount projecting a $9 million start.

Also Read: ‘Deadpool 2’ Will Continue Marvel’s – and Josh Brolin’s – Death Grip on Box Office

“Book Club” is directed by Bill Holderman in his directorial debut from a script he co-wrote with Erin Simms. Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, and Richard Dreyfuss also star. The film holds a score of 61 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Finally, there’s Global Road’s “Show Dogs,” a kids’ action-comedy developed by Open Road Films prior to its acquisition by Tang Media Group. The film is expected to open to $7 million from 3,145 locations. The film stars Will Arnett as a human detective who must go undercover at a dog show with his canine partner (voiced by Ludacris). Raja Gosnell directed the film from a script by Max Botkin and Marc Hyman.

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