Are you one of the people who checks the Rotten Tomatoes score of a movie before seeing it that weekend? Well, you're not alone. Millions of people across the world check in with the review aggregator before they pick what to see.
It made sense! Going to the movies can be expensive, and you want to know if the movie is good before you commit, especially if you are taking your family.
While there is still a debate on who uses Rotten Tomatoes and if it holds a ton of power, it is one of the biggest movie and TV sites on the internet.
Today, Vulture dropped a shocking article where they drummed up some fishy things going on with Rotten Tomatoes' critics and ratings.
They covered a PR company named Bunker 15, which focuses on lesser-known verified critics on Rotten Tomatoes, sometimes paying them $50 to review movies they represent. In turn, it seems like the critics went easy on the movies, helping goose the scores to get them out of the "rotten" zone and into the "fresh" zone.
Of course, Bunker 15 maintains reviewers can write whatever they want, but you can see where giving positive reviews might ensure you continue to get paid anyway. And an anonymous reviewer who sent in a negative review said they were lobbied to change it.
I believe that Rotten Tomatoes has a lot of power when it comes to new releases targeted at the masses, so I think companies will do anything to make sure they get a positive review to boost that opening weekend.
Over the years it has existed, Rotten Tomatoes has become a pillar in the industry, despite people like Martin Scorsese saying that it reduces the director “to a content manufacturer and the viewer to an unadventurous consumer.”
To its credit, Rotten Tomatoes took down a lot of the Bunker 15 when they heard from Vulture. and they released a statement, “We take the integrity of our scores seriously and do not tolerate any attempts to manipulate them. We have a dedicated team who monitors our platforms regularly and thoroughly investigates and resolves any suspicious activity.”
We'll keep you updated as this story develops.
Does Rotten Tomatoes affect what you choose to watch? What's your relationship with the website like?
Let us know in the comments.